A Django site.
July 21, 2009
» Divorce man wants his kidney back

Today the BBC report of a case in the USA of a man who is divorcing his wife, who he donated a kidney to, who now wants his kidney back, and/or sufficient compensation, because his wife subsequently had an affair and left him after the transplant.

should kidney transplants be given unconditionally or is is perfectly reasonable for donors to expect at least some gratitude from the recipient post donation?

» Alcoholics get 1 in 4 UK liver transplants

Yesterday some of the Sunday newspapers reported that alcoholics currently receive around 1 in 4 of all liver transplants in the UK. Today the Mirror reports the same story. many of these transplant recipients are of course reformed alcoholics. however, given the number of liver transplants performed each year in the UK (several hundred), some patient groups have questioned whether alcoholics should receive transplants at all.

» world's 1st tissue engineered transplant

The BBC reports that Surgeons in Spain, in collaboration with Bristol University, have carried out the world’s first tissue engineered whole organ transplant. The woman in question damaged her lungs after contracting TB. Medics were able to grow a left bronchi from her own stem cells (using a donor windpipe as a ‘framework’) and transplant the organ into the woman.

as the organ is made up of the woman’s own tissue it has not rejected and she does not require anti-rejection medication. what potentials do you think this holds for medicine? Already scientists are talking about the prospect of being able to grown human organs in the lab within the next 20 years.

November 17, 2008
» Opt out rejected in the UK

The BBC reports that the UK organ donation taskforce (a government advisory committee) have rejected plans for a system of ‘opt out’ in the UK. such a system would presume that everyone would consent to organ donation unless they had ‘opted out’.

The committee reported that there was little evidence that the system would increase the availability of human organs. The taskforce also felt that opt out would undermine the concept of gifting in organ donation and would possibly erode trust in health professionals. The Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, is however, a supporter of the scheme and has not ruled out a move towards opt out.

could opt out increase availaibilty of transplantable organs in the UK? what would be the possible problems associated with such a system? is this the end of the dabate for opt out in the UK?

November 11, 2008
» Teenage girl wins right to refuse heart transplant

A terminally ill 13 year old girl has won the right to refuse treatment recommended to save her life. the BBC reports that Herefordshire Primary Care Trust had tried to force the girl to have a heart transplant against her wishes. The Trust has now dropped its case after a child protection officer reported that the girl was adamant that she did not want surgery.

The girl said that she wanted to die with dignity, at home with her family. Her parents support her decision. What are the medical and legal ramifications of this? Should teenagers have the right to refuse life saving treatment?

November 6, 2008
» Opt in or out of organ donation

The Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, has stated that he would like a national debate about the system of organ donation that operates within the UK. Britain currently operates a system of ‘opt in’, whereby those who wish to become an organ donor have to register their wishes accordingly.

However, some countries, including Spain, operate a system of ‘opt out’, whereby everyone is presumed to be an organ donor unless they have registered their wishes not to be. There are currently over 8000 people on the UK transplant waiting list and many die each year whilst waiting for an organ transplant. It has been argued that this system of presumed consent will increase the availability of human organs for transplantation.

Government reports are due out this week and later in the year. However, if such changes are implemented it will obviously have implications for society as a whole and health professionals, particularly those working in acute care areas.

What are your thoughts on this issue?

October 27, 2008
» Culture, Communication and Nursing book published

Culture, Communication and Nursing

I’m really pleased to announce that, at long last, my first ever book has just been published by Pearson Education. The book is written by Philip Burnard and Paul Gill and is entitled Culture, communication and nursing. It’s primarily aimed at pre-registration student nurses but would be of interest to those who wish to explore culture and communication in more detail.

For more information visit the Pearson Education website.

Available from all good bookstores from tomorrow!

October 1, 2008
» Accessing abortion care

I heard a fascinating programme on Radio 4 (Case notes with Dr Mark Porter). It gave an historical overview of abortion and then an update on current methods of abortion. It did not cover the ethical or moral issues surrounding abortion but gave a comprehensive view of services available. It also incorporated views of women undergoing abortions which highlihted the personal perspective of such a profound decision.


In a recent research project concerning abortion services in Wales I found that most services adhered to national guidelines (by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists), but that some women were not able to choose the method of abortion because of a lack of local services.

University of Glamorgan

I welcome discussion about this issue.

» Watching Joe Calzaghe is bad for your health

If like me you spent the wee small hours on Saturday night/Sunday morning watching the Joe Calzaghe v Bernard Hopkins bout from Las Vegas I’m sure you can also testify to the fact that Joe is officially ‘bad for your health’. I spent the entire match on the edge of my seat, heart in mouth, biting my nails. Waiting for the judges scorecards was even worse. However, seeing joe crowned the winner in a scrappy cagey affair more than made up for it.

Joe is now without doubt one of the greatest ever British boxers and almost certainly the greatest ever Welsh sportsperson. Well done Joe

» Kidney transplant failure study

A 2 year qualitative study, exploring participant’s experiences of kidney transplant failure has just begun in the Faculty of Health, Sport and Science. The research is funded by a grant from the Research Capacity Building Collaboration (RCBC) Wales and is being undertaken by Dr Paul Gill a research fellow in the faculty.

While kidney transplants are successful and efficient, a number of transplants fail every year in the UK and rates of graft failure increase over time. The impact of graft failure for transplant recipients and their families is often profound. However, this area has been subject to little research. It is therefore envisaged that this study will increase understanding in this area and subsequently help to inform the provision of care and support provided to those affected by transplant failure.

I would welcome any comments or suggestion about this sensitive research.