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To the Editor.—
I read with interest the Feb 12 issue of JAMA on the artificial heart. As a psychiatrist, I was disappointed that there was no information on the emotional and psychiatric state of the patients or their families. Nowhere did I see a discussion of the quality of life achieved by these patients or what quality, at what sacrifice, might be achieved in the future.Although I've read in the past that heart transplants often result in disturbed mental states owing to the immunosuppressant drugs needed, I've not seen articles on this recently in the journals. In these days of rising medical costs, rapid technological expansion, and an increasing geriatric population, we must evaluate the human as well as the technological effect of what we do.I would hope future evaluations of such procedures will include evaluations of the patient's mood, cognition, affect, etc, and his or her
Rogers GA. The Permanent Artificial Heart. JAMA. 1988;260(3):342-343. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03410030058025