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Looking for Good Samaritans

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University of Alberta researcher James Shapiro recently collaborated with a team of Japanese physicians to transplant islet (insulin-producing) cells from a mother to her daughter

University of Alberta researcher James Shapiro recently collaborated with a team of Japanese physicians to transplant islet (insulin-producing) cells from a mother to her daughter. This successful procedure allowed the younger woman to go without daily insulin injections.

Cases such as this one underscore the benefits of live donor transplants. Although organ transplants have become a routine surgical procedure, there continues to be a gap between the number of people needing transplants and the number of available organs. Living donors could help close this gap. According to the British Columbia Transplant Society (BCTS), live organ donations are now accepted for kidney, liver, and islet cell transplantation.

Whether they are known or unknown to the recipient, organ donors must be medically and
psychologically healthy. They must be aware of potential health risks and must not feel pressured into taking part in the procedure.

After an in-depth study of live anonymous donors, The BCTS concluded that "there are altruistically motivated potential donors out there." The BCTS believes that recruiting such good Samaritans will help those in need of transplant surgery.

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