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The Gift of Life


Submitted By keckscustoms
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The Gift of Life Death is often an unpleasant thought, even though it is a simple fact of life. For some it is a welcome event that can alleviate pain and suffering and can sometimes save the life of another. Receiving a needed organ often means the difference between life and death. Many people have misconceptions regarding organ donation, some do not realize the vast numbers on waiting lists. Others may be apprehensive about making a decision about their bodies after death. According to the National Network of Organ Donors, “nineteen people die every day in this country waiting for an organ transplant” (NNOD). Organ and tissue donation offer the gift of life however, many factors such as family, religion, and public attitudes influence the decision of organ donation. The origins of organ donation arose with several experimental transplants. The first successful transplant was a bone transplant in 1878, which used a bone from a cadaver (“Understanding Donation”). By 1954, Dr. Joseph E. Murray performed the first successful kidney transplant in Boston (“History of Organ Transplantation”). Since then, medical science has concentrated on organ donation as a way of replacing a recipient's dysfunctional organ with that of a healthy donor organ. It was not until 1967 that the first successful heart transplant took place. With this new development, the donor card was established as a legal document the next year (“History of Organ Transplantation”). In 1984, National Organ Transplant Act was passed; this established the Organ Procurement and Transplant Network. This fundamentally guaranteed fairness in distribution of donated organs (“Donation and Transplantation”). Three years later a new drug to suppress the immune system was developed, but was not approved until 1994. The donation process differs for the type of organ being donated, and whether or not the

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