Pacemakers and Patient Rights: How Using IMDs Means Wearing Your Heart on Your Sleeve

24 Pages Posted: 30 Apr 2018

Date Written: April 28, 2018


Implantable medical devices (IMDs) are very common in the United States and are essentially wearable smart devices embedded under the skin. Patients have no direct access to the information collected and exercise no control over where that information is sent. Under this model, the rights of patients with pacemakers are at a significant risk of abuse. This paper reviews the rights of patients with medical implants, specifically those with pacemakers, and is organized by three topics: privacy, access, and litigation. Research found IMDs offer little protection and are easily hacked, patients receive no direct access to their own data, and such data has already been approved to serve as evidence in litigation. Although IMDs are making positive strides forward in the world of medicine, they may lead to significant steps backward for the rights of the patients involved. Overall, if using a pacemaker means wearing one’s heart on one’s sleeve, patients should have the right to know the rules before being thrust into the game.

Keywords: pacemakers, IMDs, privacy, access, wearable devices

Suggested Citation

Hampton, Ashton, Pacemakers and Patient Rights: How Using IMDs Means Wearing Your Heart on Your Sleeve (April 28, 2018). Available at SSRN: or

Ashton Hampton (Contact Author)

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

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