Organ transplants - to donate or not

Updated: 2013-06-11 08:36

By Liu Zhihua (China Daily)

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Back to the future

Wang Wei, a xenotransplant specialist at No 3 Xiangya Hospital in Hunan province, said xenotransplant is a promising way to solve the problem of donor organ shortages and that it could save a lot more lives.

However, Liu Xiaocheng, a prominent cardiac surgeon at Teda International Cardiovascular Hospital, in Tianjin, has said that he doesn't believe transplanted animal organs or tissues can save the lives of humans, at least not for near future, because of the immune system reaction.

So, no matter what the outcome of this work on xenotransplants, for the present, those waiting for an organ transplant will still have to rely on the kindness of a complete stranger.

As for complete strangers, Qi Dan, the wife of the deceased trucker, says she knows her husband would be happy with the family's decision.

"When a person dies and is cremated, there's nothing left but ashes to mourn. Why not do something good and donate the organs. That's one way to keep on living."

And, more philosophically, "My husband's lived a short life, but a meaningful one. He saved five people. Isn't that enough?"

Organ transplants - to donate or not