The author examines the influence of psychic factors on kidney
transplant rejection in a patient who suffered emotional trauma. As an
adolescent, this man had reacted to the death of his father with an
incomplete mourning response and had coped with the loss through
identification and a search for surrogates. The death of a paternal
surrogate immediately preceded the transplant rejection. The author
emphasizes that the establishment of a causal relationship between a
somatic event and a psychic antecedent is facilitated by demonstrating that
a latent conflict has been evoked symbolically by an external event.
Further research into such correlations could significantly enhance our
understanding of disease processes.