An Approach to the Patient with Organ Failure: Transplantation and End-of-Life Treatment Decisions

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Organ transplantation offers an opportunity for extended survival and enhanced quality of life to patients with end-stage organ disease. Significant challenges are associated with both pre- and post-transplantation care, however, that require awareness of psychiatric issues in this patient population. Ventricular assist devices have added another dimension to patient care and to quality-of-life considerations. Unfortunately, effective incorporation of palliative care and end-of-life discussions is frequently overlooked during caretaking of these patients.