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Open Access Article

End-of-Life Decision Making in Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation Recipients

M. Encarlita Tee
Gayle Z. Balmaceda
Myra A. Granada
Clara S. Fowler
Judith K. Payne
CJON 2013, 17(6), 640-646 DOI: 10.1188/13.CJON.640-646

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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