Organic Growth

We’re removing the upper-age limit for organ donors, it seems. Now, even those over the age of 60 can expect their bodies to be recycled upon death. Why the Ministry of Health thought this was necessary eludes me. Surely elderly organs are not particularly suitable for transplants? Or perhaps there just aren’t enough young people in Singapore dying in ways that can allow for body-part-reuse?

In any case, I had no idea that we were recycled quite so… efficiently.

From Channel NewsAsia:

The amendments approved by Parliament in March this year is expected to increase the number of organ donors by about 10.
This would mean some 70 patients could potentially benefit from the move.

That’s an average of seven organs per donor? That seemed like a lot, until a wikipedia search for common transplantable organs and tissues:

  • Bone
  • Bone marrow
  • Corneal
  • Face
  • Hand
  • Heart
  • Heart-lung
  • Kidney
  • Liver
  • Lung
  • Pancreas
  • Penis
  • Skin
  • Spleen
  • Uterus

So it turns out that we’re only transplanting at less than 50% efficiency here and we’re not even taking into account things like Islets of Langerhans. So uncharacteristic of our little technocracy.

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