Blurring the Line Between Life and Death (NPR)


In an extensive interview with NPR’s Fresh Air, Professor Richard Freeman, chair of the department of surgery at Dartmouth Medical School, talks about organ donation and speaks in opposition to the way the process is described by author Dick Teresi—who argues that medical technology is blurring the lines between life and death.

Freeman explains the intricate process of organ donation and the medical practices that ensure that organs remain viable for transplant. He describes the donation process as being “compassionate and thoughtful,” and says hospital personnel make sure that families involved in the process are well informed.

Freeman also discusses the importance of making informed decisions about becoming an organ donor. “It is a life-changing decision that you’re making,” he says.  “And hopefully, the whole idea of checking the donor box and these donor registries is that you have spent time thinking about it, and more importantly, talked to your family at length about your desires and wishes.”

Listen to the full story, broadcast 3/19/12 on NPR’s Fresh Air.

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