Eighteen of 20 survivors of a heart transplant used denial as a coping
mechanism. In seven of the subjects, denial was expressed toward the graft,
in five it was toward the donor, and in six it was toward both. Other
feelings expressed at the time of discharge were euphoria, gratitude,
curiosity, ambivalence, guilt, anxiety, and a feeling of a change in body
image. The author suggests that denial serves a protective and adaptive
function in heart transplant recipients.