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(c) Drugs that suppress the immune system
response can make the patient vulnerable to
everyday infections. Sometimes, these may prove
fatal. 3. Only a very small proportion of the population are
organ donors. At any one time the number of people
waiting to receive a donor organ out numbers the total
number of organ donors. Tissue engineering uses
stem cells to create semisynthetic living organs to use
as replacement parts. This means that some people
awaiting transplants can be treated in the absence of
suitable donor tissue being made available. This saves
lives and reduces the transplant waiting list. 4. Some points of discussion below. This answer may
also take the form of a debate or a separate report.
Students are unlikely to cover all issues:
Human to human organ and tissue transplants:
• Organ donation is a unique opportunity to save lives, so there is an altruistic component to
• Advances in medical technology have improved preservation techniques so that the longevity of
vital organs has been improved during recovery,
transport, and transplant.
• Improvements in stem cell technology in the future will reduce the risk of rejection.
• National and international computerized networks matching donors and recipients reduce the time it
takes to locate a suitable donor.
• Improvements in transplant technique and immunosuppressant drugs have (in some
cases) more than doubled the success rate of
transplants in recent years.
• Donating tissues or organs of family members has been shown to help a bereaved family to
recover from loss.
• All major religions approve of tissue and organ transplantation.
• In most countries, it is still a crime to gain financially from organ donation.
• Organ transplants are now standard medical procedure; one year survival rates are good (96%
(kidney), >86% (heart), 88% (liver)).
• People of all ages can donate organs. HIV and the Immune System (page 145)
1. HIV attacks the system that normally defends the
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- Winter '13