In life, there is one thing that is inevitable and unavoidable. The subject is often avoided because of fear. Death is universal. Every day eighteen people will die in the United States of America waiting for an organ transplant. Organ Transplantation involves the giving of a healthy body part from either a living or dead individual to another person. (Fundukian, Organ, p674-678) Medical illnesses do not discriminate. It doesn’t matter about wealth, race, religion, or even age. The types of illnesses causing and leading to organ failure are heart disease, cirrhosis, cystic fibrosis, diabetes, hepatitis, kidney disease, and hypertension.
Currently medical professionals are able to transplant kidneys, livers, lungs, hearts, pancreas, intestines, cornea, skin, bone, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, veins, heart valves, and the middle ear. Before exploring the history of organ transplantation, we first must understand some important terminology.
Some of the important groups intricate to organ transplantation are the recipients, donors, transplant team, United Network Organ Sharing (UNOS), and Organ Procurement Transplantation Network (OPTN). First, recipients are individuals whose organs are failing and received a donated organ from either a living donor or deceased donor. A living donor is a person who donates such organs as kidney, liver, lung, intestine, pancreas, and bone marrow. The second type of donor is a deceased donor. A deceased donor is an individual who is declared brain dead and the decision is made by the individual’s wishes or the individual’s family, a donor family as there are often referred to. The organs that can be donated by deceased donor are kidney, liver, lungs, heart, pancreas, intestines, corneas, skin, bone cartilage, tendons, ligaments, veins, heart valves, and middle ear.
The next group of people are the transplant team. The transplant team complied of coordinators, transplant physicians, transplant surgeons, financial coordinators, and social workers. Coordinators aid patients with evaluation, treatment and follow up care. Physicians usually manage the patient’s care, test, and medications. Some physician coordinate up until the transplant and even some times post-transplant. Surgeons are the ones who actually perform the surgery and follow up care for some time after the surgery. Financial coordinators of course aid patients in the understanding of financial matters. Finally, social workers help patients understand and cope with issues pertaining.
Besides the above groups, United Network Organ Sharing and Organ Procurement Transplantation Network are essential in organ transplantation. These organizations make it possible. UNOS “created efficient distribution system of deceased organs that allow for fair and timely allocation, formulated a patient waiting list, and set up a system to publicize the need for organ donations.” With UNOS, the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN),...