Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Biotech Medicine

Pioneering Transplant Surgeon Joseph Murray Dead at 93 24

alphadogg writes "Dr. Joseph E. Murray, the Nobel laureate who conducted the world's first successful organ transplant, died Monday at the Boston hospital where the pioneering surgery was performed. He was 93. On Dec. 23, 1954, in Operating Room 2 of the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston, Dr. Murray took the healthy kidney of Ronald Herrick and sutured it into the donor's dying identical twin, Richard. With that 5½-hour operation, Dr. Murray and his team saved a life, sparked an ethical debate that still echoes today, and opened medicine to a new frontier. Murray, who focused on plastic and reconstructive surgery for most of his career, was recognized with the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1990."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Pioneering Transplant Surgeon Joseph Murray Dead at 93

Comments Filter:
  • Rest in peace. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by philip.paradis ( 2580427 ) on Tuesday November 27, 2012 @10:56AM (#42105419)

    Your work, and the work and research from countless medical professionals following in your footsteps, has had an immeasurably postive impact on the lives of millions. Sir, rest in peace knowing that your leave is well earned.

  • Why is it important to note that he was seen by someone in the town of Medicine with a Nobel Peace Prize? Had he stolen it? Are they taking a stab at him by alluding to having poor plastic surgery skill that someone could tell who he was afterwards?

    • It was simply a reference to his surgical specialization, one which was honed by performing reconstructive surgeries on horribly disfigured World War II service members. You should probably go read the article before commenting further.

  • by FBeans ( 2201802 ) on Tuesday November 27, 2012 @11:40AM (#42105827)
    In 2008 (the newest data I could bother finding), in the US alone, 23,000 transplants were done (source) [] If this stays at a steady rate, in another 93 years another 2 MILLION transplants will have been done. Well played, that man,
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 27, 2012 @11:42AM (#42105855)

    36 years ago this December my mother received a kidney transplant from my uncle.

    3 years later I was born.

    I am forever grateful to Dr. Murray and his pioneering work that saved the lives of millions and in the process allowed many others to be born.

    • Mod parent up. I know several people whose lives have been saved by organ transplants, and the parent poster speaks directly to the fact that if not for these life-saving operations, there are people on the planet now who otherwise wouldn't exist.

  • by Mahldcat ( 1129757 ) on Tuesday November 27, 2012 @01:18PM (#42106717)
    News article on NPR today replayed an interview they conducted with him a few years ago. What struck me is that when asked if he felt he was making history his response was an emphatic "no." followed by "I viewed it as trying to save a life." Just as compelling is the Doctor they brought in when they replayed this interview segment, who confirmed this was how he looked at thing, with a deep sense of humility, and little to know "grandstanding".
  • Steve Jobs made it clear that the donor matching system is corrupt: if you're rich you can register at many transplant locations. Having enough money to travel should not be a basis for medical decisions. The donor match system is national, and we should evaluate donor matches nationally. Optimizing matches by location does not have to be changed, only the influence of money. []

    • I'm sorry, I'm not sure what you mean by removing the influence of money. As far as I was aware, Steve Jobs simply put himself on multiple lists, he didn't bribe anyone to put himself higher up on a list.

      Do you mean you wish to restrict the number of transplant lists a single person may be on at any given time?
    • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

      but you can optimize (potential) location by having money.

      wasn't that half the point of his transplant corruption?

    • Perhaps prioritizing based on when a person registered themselves to be a DONOR would be helpful too. This would encourage people to be donors and eliminate some of the issues for matches because there would be many more people who were donating.

      E.g. Someone registered to be a donor when they were 18 and needed something at 60, would be placed ahead of someone who registered at 59.5 (or not at all) and needed one at 60. This would encourage many, many people to donate, alleviating the shortage and finding

  • by dkleinsc ( 563838 ) on Tuesday November 27, 2012 @01:52PM (#42107013) Homepage

    Can we have his liver then?

Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.