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Ethical Issues and Transplantation Technology

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 December 2009

David C. Thomasma
Director of the Medical Humanities Program, Loyola University of Chicago Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois


Not that long ago, any thought of transferring body parts, or fluids like blood, among individuals was expressed in terms of a nightmare. Consider the problem of involuntary blood transfusions to Count Dracula! Or recall the infamous brain transplant to the brutish body under Dr. Frankenstein's ministrations. The very thought of bodily transference stimulated writers to create monsters. The stuff of evil seemed to surround any attempt. Hubris was considered the evil that exceeded the normal limits of scientific research and development. Transplantation seemed to make humans into gods who defied death but who, like Icarus and his wax wings, flew too close to the sun.

Special Section: Organ Ethics
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1992

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