Abstract: An active fixation mechanism for a pacemaker lead with a tissue-stimulating electrode has a rigid hook for engaging tissue pivotally fastened to the lead in the vicinity of the electrode. The tip of the hook is normally resiliently urged into a recess in the lead adjacent to the electrode. A mechanism is coupled to the lead to permit the normal bias on the hook tip to be selectively overcome to position the hook outwardly of the lead. In this position, the hook is deployed to engage tissue in the vicinity of the electrode. The force applied to deploy the hook may be removed to allow the hook to move back into the recess under the normal bias. Sufficient force applied to the hook while deployed, along the axis of the lead, will cause the hook to assume a position beyond the distal end of the lead, in which it is precluded from engaging tissue.