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Pioneering Transplant Surgeon Joseph Murray Dead at 93

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the giver-of-life dept.

Biotech 24

alphadogg writes "Dr. Joseph E. Murray, the Nobel laureate who conducted the world's first successful organ transplant, died Monday at the Boston hospital where the pioneering surgery was performed. He was 93. On Dec. 23, 1954, in Operating Room 2 of the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston, Dr. Murray took the healthy kidney of Ronald Herrick and sutured it into the donor's dying identical twin, Richard. With that 5½-hour operation, Dr. Murray and his team saved a life, sparked an ethical debate that still echoes today, and opened medicine to a new frontier. Murray, who focused on plastic and reconstructive surgery for most of his career, was recognized with the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1990."

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Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42105409)

Then maybe he would not be dead already !!


Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42105505)

If he was still alive he could transplant a working brain on you and maybe, just maybe, you could make an original joke.

Rest in peace. (5, Interesting)

philip.paradis (2580427) | about 2 years ago | (#42105419)

Your work, and the work and research from countless medical professionals following in your footsteps, has had an immeasurably postive impact on the lives of millions. Sir, rest in peace knowing that your leave is well earned.

Re:Rest in peace. (1)

present_arms (848116) | about 2 years ago | (#42105507)

Could not said that better myself, R.I.P your work here is done

Re:Rest in peace. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42105865)

immeasurably postive impact? Perhaps you meant to write, measurably postive impact, otherwise, what is the point of it all? You silly hyperbolists, talking over your tongue all the time to spout nonsense.

Re:Rest in peace. (4, Informative)

philip.paradis (2580427) | about 2 years ago | (#42105939)

I meant what I wrote. The impact of this gentleman's work is beyond measure, and is therefore immeasurable [] . Please acquaint yourself with the English language before commenting again, and have a nice day in the interim.

Confused by Summary End (0)

RivenAleem (1590553) | about 2 years ago | (#42105529)

Why is it important to note that he was seen by someone in the town of Medicine with a Nobel Peace Prize? Had he stolen it? Are they taking a stab at him by alluding to having poor plastic surgery skill that someone could tell who he was afterwards?

Re:Confused by Summary End (1)

philip.paradis (2580427) | about 2 years ago | (#42105565)

It was simply a reference to his surgical specialization, one which was honed by performing reconstructive surgeries on horribly disfigured World War II service members. You should probably go read the article before commenting further.

Re:Confused by Summary End (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42105833)



Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42110473)


What if (1)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | about 2 years ago | (#42105533)

You translanpted a goat's butt onto a fish'es face and added fiery lizard claws with NVIDIA gpues in its blood then it would be AWESOME.

Well done sir. (2)

FBeans (2201802) | about 2 years ago | (#42105827)

In 2008 (the newest data I could bother finding), in the US alone, 23,000 transplants were done (source) [] If this stays at a steady rate, in another 93 years another 2 MILLION transplants will have been done. Well played, that man,

I am Alive Because of his Work. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42105855)

36 years ago this December my mother received a kidney transplant from my uncle.

3 years later I was born.

I am forever grateful to Dr. Murray and his pioneering work that saved the lives of millions and in the process allowed many others to be born.

Re:I am Alive Because of his Work. (2)

philip.paradis (2580427) | about 2 years ago | (#42106015)

Mod parent up. I know several people whose lives have been saved by organ transplants, and the parent poster speaks directly to the fact that if not for these life-saving operations, there are people on the planet now who otherwise wouldn't exist.

He did not see himself as making history... (5, Interesting)

Mahldcat (1129757) | about 2 years ago | (#42106717)

News article on NPR today replayed an interview they conducted with him a few years ago. What struck me is that when asked if he felt he was making history his response was an emphatic "no." followed by "I viewed it as trying to save a life." Just as compelling is the Doctor they brought in when they replayed this interview segment, who confirmed this was how he looked at thing, with a deep sense of humility, and little to know "grandstanding".

Honor him by fixing corrupt transplant matching (1)

mounthood (993037) | about 2 years ago | (#42106803)

Steve Jobs made it clear that the donor matching system is corrupt: if you're rich you can register at many transplant locations. Having enough money to travel should not be a basis for medical decisions. The donor match system is national, and we should evaluate donor matches nationally. Optimizing matches by location does not have to be changed, only the influence of money. []

Re:Honor him by fixing corrupt transplant matching (1)

Golddess (1361003) | about 2 years ago | (#42106989)

I'm sorry, I'm not sure what you mean by removing the influence of money. As far as I was aware, Steve Jobs simply put himself on multiple lists, he didn't bribe anyone to put himself higher up on a list.

Do you mean you wish to restrict the number of transplant lists a single person may be on at any given time?

Re:Honor him by fixing corrupt transplant matching (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42107141)

You don't have to be rich to register at more than one location. Anyone can do it if they want to.

Re:Honor him by fixing corrupt transplant matching (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 2 years ago | (#42107899)

but you can optimize (potential) location by having money.

wasn't that half the point of his transplant corruption?

Re:Honor him by fixing corrupt transplant matching (1)

chfriley (160627) | about 2 years ago | (#42110543)

Perhaps prioritizing based on when a person registered themselves to be a DONOR would be helpful too. This would encourage people to be donors and eliminate some of the issues for matches because there would be many more people who were donating.

E.g. Someone registered to be a donor when they were 18 and needed something at 60, would be placed ahead of someone who registered at 59.5 (or not at all) and needed one at 60. This would encourage many, many people to donate, alleviating the shortage and finding many more matches. It would likely result in the time of registration rarely or never coming in to play.


Re:Honor him by fixing corrupt transplant matching (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42123047)

As a two time liver transplant recipient, I can assure you that the issues with transplant matching system have nothing to do with multiple listings and everything to do with the availability of organs for donation.

While the donor matching system is run by a national non-profit organization (UNOS), the logistics are such that transplants can really only occur regionally. You have to realize that organs dont just show up vacuum sealed like that turkey you had last week. When a potential donor dies, not only are there a battery of tests run (antibodies,infections/infectious agents,etc), but the transplant center usually sends its own crew out to retreive the organ. Even if everything else checks out prior to harvest, the retrieval itself may be unsuccessful or there may be unforseen complications. And while all of this is going on, the clock on that organ is ticking. This means that transplant centers have very strict timetables.

For me that meant that I had one hour from the initial call to contact the transplant coordinator to accept the offered organ and to be at the hospital within 6 hours. With wait lists varying regionally due to things such as populatin density, availability of care and quality of care, its no surprise that patients, such as Jobs and myself list at multiple transplant centers. This isn't a negative, it's frequently recommended by the transplant center themselves (and they may or may not have certain requirements). The only difference between Jobs and other patients who list at multiple centers is the fact that he had access to a private jet and so his ability to travel during that six hour window was significantly larger.

You want to improve the organ transplant system in the US? Change the process to become an organ donor from an opt-in to an opt out system.

Obligatory Monty Python (2)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 2 years ago | (#42107013)

Can we have his liver then?

Re:Obligatory Monty Python (1)

gmhowell (26755) | about 2 years ago | (#42113983)

Can we have his liver then?

Want me to bring the fava beans and chianti?

gmhowell posting days late again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42161807)

Karma point whoring with his standard 1 line post to abuse others with karma points given. Note the time and date of his post in relation to who he replied to. Gives his trolling game methods away.

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