As doctors, we are taught to do no harm. It may be time to redefine what we really mean by harm. Two surgeons from the University of Wisconsin’s transplant program explore whether we should allow terminal patients to donate their organs.
The world's first successful penis transplant has been performed in South Africa.
Chain of Life is a three part article done by The Star Ledger of New Jersey, following a rare instance where six patients in New Jersey and New York received kidney transplants in March from six living donors, all unrelated and previously unknown to them. Over 36 hours.
For over five years, journalist and TV presenter Ding Yu headed up a massively popular Chinese TV talk show. Every week, She would sit down with convicted murderers and interview them about their life and crimes, before they were taken out and put to death by either firing squad or lethal injection. The show, "Interviews Before Execution", was taken off the air in March 2012. [more inside]
The printing of an engineered [non-functional model of a] replacement kidney on stage at a recent TED talk is just the latest in a spate of recent high-profile biomedical engineering headlines. [more inside]
Giving life after death row. Death row inmate Christian Longo continues his crusade to allow prisoners to donate their organs with an op ed in the Times. Post mortem voluntary donation supposedly avoids the same consent issues as some recent domestic and international cases. Journalist Michael Finckel--whose identity was stolen by Longo at one point--describes his own part in how Longo came to this cause (Finkel's encounter with Longo was part of his own redemption story after a fabrication scandal at the New York Times Magazine).
Wake Forest University's slogan for their baseball team in 2011 is 'What are you willing to sacrifice to help make this team better?' "Head coach Tom Walter's intent was to have his players thinking about sacrifice bunts, moving runners over, and giving up personal glory to help the Demon Deacons improve as a team. But what Walter chose to sacrifice is greater than simply hanging in on a curve ball and taking one for the team. Walter gave up a kidney." [more inside]
"A desperate Arizona man faced with a horrible family tragedy is praising a Southwest Airlines pilot today for displaying an act of human kindness some say is rare in the airline industry: he delayed a takeoff so the man could reach the bedside of his dying 2-year old grandson." Via. [more inside]
Suit alleges that her partner of 18 years and her children were denied access to dying woman in Florida hospital. Due to her organ donation, however, Lisa Marie Pond’s heart survives.
"The person is not dead yet," said Jerry A. Menikoff, an associate professor of law, ethics and medicine at the University of Kansas. "They are going to be dead, but we should be honest and say that we're starting to remove the organs a few minutes before they meet the legal definition of death."
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In addition to giving DCD donors morphine, valium and other drugs to make sure they do not suffer as life support is withdrawn, doctors often insert a large tube into an artery and inject drugs such as the blood thinner heparin to help preserve the organs. Some say those measures may hasten death.
Sign a Donor Card! Organ transplantation has taken great leaps and bounds. What used to take twelve to fourteen hours for, say, a liver transplant, has now been reduced (in some cases) to a three-hour operation. Holding times (the length of time for which an organ can be between donor and recipient) have increased. What hasn’t increased are the number of donors. (mi)
Man on death row wants to donate liver to dying sister. I think this opens up many questions and mucks up the waters if you are both pro life(viva Terri), and also support the death penalty. (first fpp)
With organ donation lists far outstripping availible donars, is it fair that people who don't donate get equal footing when waiting for an organ? LifeSharers pledge to donate organs preferentially to other registered organ donors upon death, essentially forming a private organ donation network. Excess organs are donated to the public.
Organ donation has become a hot topic on Me Fi lately. Unfortunately, this thread has not spawned the best discussion. But the ethics of organ tansplantation can become difficult. Do donors have the right to specify who gets their organs? If they do, what does that imply for living donors; in other words, are you really volunteering to donate that kidney to your brother? And should we have an opt-in or opt-out system? Most religions approve of organ donation; even Jehovah's Witnesses that do not accept blood transfusions. And of course, the US government is involved, for better or worse. Not everyone thinks organ donation is good. More links here and here.
Organ Transplants for HIV+ Patients? The Starzl Institute, one of the most prestigious organ transplant centers in the nation, is making waves in the medical and transplant community by offering new organs to patients with HIV and AIDS. (They are currently evaluating Larry Kramer, co-founder of GMHC and Act-Up for a new liver.) Is this progressive, compassionate medicine, or is it, as some critics have charged, a waste of scarce organs that could go to patients who don't have an underlying fatal virus?
Arabs donate 'martyr' organs to help Israelis
This story gives me hope.
This story gives me hope.