Organ transplantation is one of the success stories of modern medicine. Around 139,000 transplants are performed annually across the world. One of the most recent success stories is a double-lung transplant for a patient with COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, in China.
Successful organ donation is a fairly recent phenomenon, still only decades old. The first successful kidney transplant was performed by a group of surgeons led by Dr Joseph Murray in Boston in 1954 between the identical Herrick twins – the recipient lived for eight years.
But the story does not really begin there. As a concept,