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autonomy, end-of-life, ethics, informed consent, LVAD, palliative care



  1. Trainor, James RNFA
  2. Caplan, Arthur PhD


The left ventricular assist device originated as a means to provide temporary circulatory support for patients suffering from end-stage heart failure. The device was originally intended to serve as a bridge to cardiac transplantation. Increasingly, however, the left ventricular assist device is being utilized as a destination therapy for those patients who are not candidates for heart transplantation. It is this utilization as a destination therapy that raises additional significant ethical concern related to the risks and benefits of the devices, factors influencing quality of life, and consequences pertaining to end-of-life care.