Supply and demand of organs for donation
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Organ transplantation was one of the great successes of the past century. The ability to remove diseased organs and replace them with healthy, fully functional ones is a dream that physicians have had for centuries. Modern developments in anaesthesia, blood transfusion, immunology and intensive care mean that all but the sickest of patients can have a transplant with a good chance of surviving the operation and returning to a good quality of life. For example, age, cancer and infection with HIV, once absolute contraindications, are no longer barriers to transplantation. The only problem with this success story is that the organs are in short supply. Whereas a patient has a good chance to survive the operation and to have a well functioning organ, the chances of an organ being available for the transplantation are decreasing. Improvements in car design, and in road layout and the use of safety equipment mean that the number of serious brain injuries is declining. If patients are...
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