Saturday, 3 December 2011

Interesting anniversary

Today, December 3 is the anniversary of the first ever heart transplant. As with many pioneering procedures initial mortality rates were extremely high but medical science has gradually overcome many associated problems and transplants of heart and kidneys are now so common that demand far exceeds the supply of donated organs.

Inevitably some have seen market forces as a way of satisfying demand and this is a prime example of what market forces, without any consideration of ethical behaviour, can do within medicine. (1) (2) (3)  It is arguable that transplant surgery causes more human suffering than it alleviates. Also, if you have ever bought a recycled car part you will know that, with second hand parts, it is a case of "buyer beware".  Not all advances represent progress

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