Medicine: REPLACING A FAULTY KIDNEY

The patient's kidneys were infected, inflamed, and all but useless. For a time, he had been kept alive by drugs and a strict diet limiting his intake of fluids and salt. But that was only temporary treatment. His doctors calculated that he had about eight weeks to live.

What he needed was a new kidney; doctors at Boston's Peter Bent Brigham Hospital who have pioneered with transplanted kidneys since 1950, decided to try and give him one. First they needed a healthy volunteer to donate a kidney. They found one—a woman. Then they got down to one of the most hazardous tasks...

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