WASHINGTON — Former Vice President Dick Cheney says he once feared that terrorists could use the electrical device that had been implanted near his heart to kill him and had his doctor disable its wireless function.
Cheney has a history of heart trouble. In an interview with CBS's 60 Minutes, he says doctors replaced an implanted defibrillator near his heart in 2007. The device can detect irregular heartbeats and control them with electrical jolts.
He says that he and his doctor, cardiologist Jonathan Reiner, turned off the device's wireless function in case a terrorist tried to send his heart a fatal shock.
Years later, Cheney watched an episode of the Showtime series Homeland in which such a scenario was part of the plot.
"I was aware of the danger, if you will, that existed, but I found it credible," Cheney tells 60 Minutes in a segment airing today.
Cheney and Reiner are promoting a book they co-wrote, Heart: An American Medical Odyssey.