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Clin J Oncol Nurs. 2013 Dec;17(6):640-6. doi: 10.1188/13.CJON.640-646.

End-of-life decision making in hematopoietic cell transplantation recipients.

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  • 1Stem Cell Transplant and Cellular Therapy Unit, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.


Discussions about futile treatment options for patients undergoing hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) can be difficult for healthcare providers. These discussions often are not initiated before transplantation, but only after a patient's healthcare status deteriorates. Nurses are in a key position to provide support and advocate for patients and their families in end-of-life (EOL) decisions. A need exists for increased autonomy for nurses as patient advocates. Implementation of multidisciplinary nursing education, both in schools and in the workplace, will support these new responsibilities. This article will provide a review of the literature related to the nurse role in the transition from active treatment (aggressive care) to EOL care in the HCT population.

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