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Transplant: From Myth to Reality

Yale University Press
Place of Publication: 
New Haven, CT

One of the most spectacular medical advances of the twentieth century, organ transplantation has become a generally effective and routine treatment for patients with organ failure. In this riveting book, a well-known expert in the fields of clinical transplantation and transplantation research traces the evolution of organ transplantation from its initial stirrings in the imaginations of the ancients to its current status as accepted treatment for nearly 40,000 patients each year. Drawing often on his own firsthand experience, Dr. Nicholas L. Tilney tells the story of the advances in organ transplantation, discusses how societal forces have driven its development, and reveals how its current success is marred by commercialism and exploitation of the less fortunate. Dr. Tilney describes early transplantation attempts, the first successful kidney transplant in 1954 between identical twins, the scientific advances for suppressing the immune system, the introduction of the concept of host tolerance, the new research on donor matching, and the issue of donor brain death. He explores innovations in heart, lung, liver, and other abdominal transplants and reflects on the attempts to make transplants between species. Finally he explains how organ transplantation has become a vast business, creating ethical and logistical conflicts about organ donations. (Publisher)