Kidney to Share
Martha Gershun, John D. Lantos
In Kidney to Share, Martha Gershun tells the story of her decision to donate a kidney to a stranger. She takes readers through the complex process by which such donors are vetted to ensure that they are physically and psychologically fit to take the risk of a major operation. John D. Lantos, a physician and bioethicist, places Gershun's story in the larger context of the history of kidney transplantation and the ethical controversies that surround living donors. Together, they help readers understand the discoveries that made transplantation relatively safe and effective as well as the legal, ethical, and economic policies that make it feasible.
Gershun and Lantos explore the steps involved in recovering and allocating organs. They analyze the differences that arise depending on whether the organ comes from a living donor or one who has died. They observe the expertise—and the shortcomings—of doctors, nurses, and other professionals and describe the burdens that we place on people who are willing to donate. In this raw and vivid book, Gershun and Lantos ask us to consider just how far society should go in using one person's healthy body parts in order to save another person.
Kidney to Share provides an account of organ donation that is both personal and analytical. The combination of perspectives leads to a profound and compelling exploration of a largely opaque practice. Gershun and Lantos pull back the curtain to offer readers a more transparent view of the fascinating world of organ donation.