Medicine: Anatomical Gifts

At Salt Lake City's University of Utah Hospital recently, a 57-year-old man lay dying after heart surgery. In his wallet was a card that read: "Desiring that humanity may benefit, I hereby give for any lawful medical purpose any specific organs or parts of my body determined to be medically usable . . . upon my death."

In the past, hospital authorities would have had to negotiate with the patient's next of kin to obtain organs for transplant, and the organs might have deteriorated and become unusable before permission was obtained. There was no such delay at the Utah hospital. Informed by...

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