The Ultimate Gift

Two programmes on the history and ethics of organ donation, presented by medical historian Ruth Richardson.



She traces the history of organ transplants, from the first attempts in the 18th century through to the present.

She talks to the pioneers in the 1950s who finally made transplants possible for human beings, and discusses with painter John Bellany the new lease of life given to him when he received a liver transplant 12 years ago.

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What is to be done about the ever increasing shortage of organs for transplantation? Ruth Richardson follows some of the more recent medical developments in transplantation and discusses the thorny issue of presumed consent.