Addicted to novelty since 2001

Two Degrees of Organ Separation

Try to bear with me for a minute. Person A is chronically ill and requires a kidney transplant. Person B is willing to give A a transplant, but is not a match.

In another province, person C is also ill, and also requires a kidney. Person D is willing to give C a kidney, but is not a match. However, D is a match with A. Now, wouldn’t it be great if we could get these four people together so that they could swap organs?

In the States, a national organ exchange program is currently under discussion. It’s a great idea, and could boost the number of transplants by 20%. I’m not sure how this works in Canada…anybody want to weight in?

2 Responses to “Two Degrees of Organ Separation”

  1. Lisa Johnson

    Only recently did B-C allow the first … you could call it … good samaritan donations. On a pilot study basis.

    That is, until now it’s been illegal for a person (such as D) to donate to someone they don’t know (like A).

    The worry has been that D might have some ulterior motive that could be harmful, to D itself or someone else.

    So now scientists are studying that assumption.

  2. sxKitten

    Unrelated bone marrow transplants (where the donor is not a relative) have long been done on an anonymous basis – there are bone marrow registries in most countries, which are all linked in a searchable international database. It’s very common for a Canadian patient to get marrow from a donor in Europe or Asia.

    The main difference, however, between this and organ donations is that the bone marrow donor’s marrow regrows in a matter of weeks.

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