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December 13 , 2007

A Gift of Life

Observations on Organ Transplantation


In the past few years the transplantation of organs in man has received publicity unprecedented in medical history. The first heart grafts were covered by press, radio, and television on a scal~ equiva­ lent to the news of the outbreak of a major war. Unwarranted and extravagant optimism has been followed by bitter criticism. This has undermined public confidence in the medical profession and seriously impeded progress in an important endeavour aimed at reducing human suffering. This unfortunate situation has arisen from widespread ignorance amongst the public and the medical profession of the background, present achievements, and future potential of organ grafting. Short statements by experts, frequently misquoted or cut short by television interviewers, and misinformed derogatory pronouncements by prejudiced medically qualified men, with no knowledge of the field, have produced a sorry state of confusion. It is the purpose of this book to attempt to clarify organ transplantation. The principles of organ transplantation are common to all organs but I will confine most of the discussion to transplantation of four vital organs, namely the kidney, liver, heart, and lung. ROY CALNE Cambridge January 1970 CONTENTS Preface IX List of Illustrations Xlll Acknowledgements XVll I. THE IDEA I II. THE SURGERY 7 III. REJECTION 15 IV. PREVENTION OF REJECTION 23 v. TISSUEMATCHING 39 VI. ORGAN PRESERVATION 47 VII. SUITABLE DONORS 53 VIII. ORGAN TRANSPLANTS 57 IX. ETHICS AND THE LAW 81 X.
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