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organ donors

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They’re called “transplant tourists.” In need of an organ transplant but lacking a donor, they travel to countries where human organs are available for purchase on the black market. The organs they buy are harvested from the poorest of the poor, those who are most desperate for money. Often, after the organs are taken, the promised payments are never made.

Monir Moniruzzaman is an assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology at Michigan State University. He's studied the sales of organs by people trapped in extreme poverty and was invited to the Vatican to participate in a summit on organ trafficking.

In the lower right hand corner of Evan Kimball’s driver’s license was the word “DONOR” next to a red heart.

That meant he elected to be an organ donor when he was registering for his license at 16 years old.

Last October, at 18 years old, Evan was killed in a car crash.

Lydia and Ward Kimball are Evan’s parents. As the doctors recovered their son’s organs, the two worked on what’s called directed donation – they selected the patients to whom Evan would give a second chance.

Ryan Grimes


This weekend, runners and walkers of all levels and ages will converge on Flint for the HealthPlus Crim Festival of Races.

Carol Cerny is going to be there with her running shoes on.

She’s doing the 10-mile event to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of her double lung transplant.

Fotos GOVBA / Flickr

A study from the University of Michigan suggests that people won't accept organ donations or blood transfusions from donors who are criminals.

The study's lead author is Meredith Meyer. She is a research fellow in the University of Michigan's Psychology Department. The study was published in the Journal of Cognitive Science.

(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

There’s a new push underway to get more Michiganders to sign up as future organ donors.  

Michigan ranks 44th in the percentage of adults who are registered organ donors.   

Richard Pietroski says that’s not good enough.  He’s the chief executive officer of Gift of Life Michigan.   Pietroski says the 3 thousand critically ill Michiganders waiting for an organ or tissue transplant have to wait longer than they should.  

Spectrum Hospital first heart transplant
Bruce Rossman / Spectrum Health

Doctors are celebrating the first successful heart transplant done in west Michigan. In February Spectrum Health was approved to perform heart transplants. Three other hospitals in Michigan are allowed to do the complicated procedure, but they’re all located in southeast Michigan.