Organ Transplantation: Medical, Technological and Ethical Challenges

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People die each day waiting on lists for lifesaving organs, and the rise of chronic diseases such as diabetes only increases the demand. With the need for scientific innovation and donor support becoming ever more critical, this Forum explored biomedical advances that promise to address the scarcity, as well as the efforts of medical leaders, advocates and policymakers to reduce the numbers waiting for transplants. Through 3-D printing, scaffolding, chips and other innovations, scientists made extraordinary strides in tissue engineering and developing artificial organs. This program looked at the potential of advances like these, along with the ongoing role of current donation programs; ethics of matching and allocation policies; controversies around buying and selling organs; and approaches such as “presumed consent”, used in some countries to increase supply, where patients are presumed to have given permission to donate their organs, unless they have explicitly opted out.

Part of The Dr. Lawrence H. and Roberta Cohn Forums, this event was presented May 20, 2016 in Collaboration with The Huffington Post and in Association with Harvard Health Publications.

Watch the entire series from The Forum at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health at www.ForumHSPH.org.

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