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OrganFacts.net

The truth behind
organ donation
& transplants

The truth behind organ donation & transplants


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… The truth behind organ donation & organ transplants

Copyright & Acknowledgemts  :  Foreword
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21   22   23   24   25   Appndx 1   Appndx 2
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The Nasty Side of Organ Transplanting.

Chapter 4

Organ Rejection

The human body experiences a transplanted organ as a malignant tumour that it tries to kill.

The immune system attacks this alien organ with B cell anti-bodies, sometimes within minutes, and may turn the organ black and blotchy even before surgeons have sewn up the wound. Most patients survive this initial immune attack and there is a brief “honeymoon period”. Government public relations consultants may parade the person in front of the media to thank the doctors, nurses and donor family, and say how fresh the air smells and that organ transplantation is a glorious experience.

The immune system ends this “honeymoon” when the T cell lymphocytes or killer T cells fully mobilise and attack the alien organ. Transplant coordinators discourage further media reporting because the patient no longer feels well or grateful for the organ.

Doctors subdue this T-cell response by attacking and disabling the recipient’s immune system with a continuing series of toxic anti-rejection drugs.

The most popular immune-suppressant is Cyclosporin, produced from a poisonous Norwegian fungus that attacks the immune system by disabling the killer T-cells. Not unexpectedly this poison has side-affects including gums growing over the teeth and increased hair growth everywhere. Some transplant guidebooks even have sections on hair removal. Cyclosporin also causes lymphoma cancer and other deadly diseases no longer suppressed by a healthy immune system.

Cardiologist Yoshio Watanabe adds, “One cannot ignore the fact that Cyclosporin causes hypertension, renal failure and left ventricular hypertrophy in 76% of recipients of any organ.”[31]

Two biologically derived anti-rejection drugs are Azathioprine and OKT3. Human blood products are injected into mice, rabbits and other animals whose immune responses produce anti-bodies to kill the human anti-bodies. Lab technicians drain the blood from these animals and isolate their anti-bodies that are fully primed to kill human anti-bodies. Doctors inject these aroused anti-human anti-bodies into the transplant recipient’s blood stream and they surprise and devastate the patient’s immune system making it too weak to destroy the transplanted organ.

These drugs plus other anti-rejection drugs like Cortico-steroids, Anitithymocyte globulins, Tacrolimus (trade name Prograf and also produced from soil fungus), and Mycophenolate mofetil collectively have shocking side-effects. They include kidney and liver failure, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, hypertension, chipmunk cheeks, skinny arms and legs, large weight gain and bone marrow damage. Psychological effects may include exaggerated fears, panic attacks, blood and guts nightmares, wild mood swings, bad tempers and hallucinations to the point of insanity.[32] Steroids also cause vertebrae collapse and slipped disk symptoms which are treated with painkillers.[33] These are a few of the ghastly contra-indications of anti-rejection drugs.

Organ Recipients get AIDS-like Diseases

The open secret of the transplant industry, and one they choose not to share with the public, is that recipients suffer AIDS-like diseases. These immune-failure diseases are as likely to cause death as actual organ failure.

The immune system is not an optional extra and by weakening its ability to kill the transplanted organ it also becomes too weak to kill anything else. The patient becomes vulnerable to the same illnesses that kill HIV-AIDS sufferers. This means a common cold, a scratch from a cat, microbes from semi-cooked meat, raw eggs and uncooked dough may trigger a life-threatening disease. It also means recipients can expect malignant cancer tumours because the damaged immune function is too weak to kill rogue cells.[34]

Clint Hallam and the Thing

Clint Hallam was serving time in a New Zealand prison for financial fraud when he accidentally sawed off his hand. He joined a very short waiting list for hands and transplant coordinators found him a brain-injured boy in France. Doctors declared the boy “brain dead”, sawed off his hand and sewed it onto Clint’s stump.

Clint had a strong, healthy body and was initially overjoyed with his new hand until the anti-rejection drugs gave him diabetes. Then, to add insult to injury, the French hand attacked his skin and intestines in what is called Graft-Versus-Host Disease.

Clint might have accepted bad health and an ungrateful hand but The Thing also looked weird and failed to perform like a normal hand. It was soft, white and hairless, had little sensation and couldn’t grip properly. Clint wanted to play piano and ride motorbikes, but The Thing couldn’t do anything except look weird. Clint felt so silly he began wearing a glove over The Thing until it became too much: he told the doctors to chop it off.

They were furious; they wanted to complete the experiment. The drug companies were also angry, as Clint was what they called a post animal-model clinical trial subject or, as we call it, a guinea pig. The first one.

The surgeons followed Clint’s orders and sawed The Thing off. They had to. He had command of the mass media that were waiting to do a horror story on The Thing.

Now that The Thing has gone Clint has become healthier and stronger and no longer requires anti-rejection drugs. He has just one hand but the other one was useless, anyway.

Oddly enough, the surgeons had considered their work a complete success, which was to transplant a hand. Clint Hallam’s personal health was a secondary matter.

Matching Donors and Recipients

The ferocious reaction from recipients' immune systems rejecting a stranger’s flesh is minimised by matching blood types and Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) tissue qualities. The immune system is less ferocious towards body tissue most similar to itself.

Immunologists also reduce the risk of immediate rejection by dosing the recipient’s immune system with anti-rejection drugs prior to transplant. They adopt a third precaution by avoiding transplanting an organ that has similar antigens to any material transplanted previously into the recipient. This includes blood transfusions because the immune system is already sensitised to these antigens and forewarned and forearmed against them. Sort of like recognising an old enemy and punching him or her out without delay.

A fourth factor is pregnancies. A woman’s immune system initially reacts towards a foetus as a foreign growth that should be killed. The foetus responds by disabling the mother’s immune system towards it, but not to other growths or infections. This reaction doesn't damage the mother but her immune system records the initial attack so a transplanted organ shouldn't have the same antigen characteristics as any of her children, miscarriages or abortions. The transplanted organ cannot healthily disable the recipient’s immune system as did the foetus.

These factors are considered before an organ is allocated to a patient.

Louis Washkansky

While Denise Durvall’s heart was clearly damaged by the terminal dying process, it transplanted perfectly and initially worked well. It was pneumonia that killed Louis Washkansky. Christian Barnard and his team used excessive cortisone, along with pre-transplant irradiation, to protect it from rejection. These weakened Louis’ immune system so that a minor infection, caused from holes drilled into his legs to drain excessive fluid, rampaged throughout his body. Barnard’s team reacted by using wide-spectrum antibiotics that killed both good and bad microbes but not the type they wanted to kill. This left his body vulnerable and the infection turned to pneumonia. His lungs clogged up, his feet turned blue and the famous Louis Washkansky was dead eighteen days after his historic 1967 transplant.[35]

Transplant recipients are never cured. Their lives resemble walking a tightrope between organ rejection and deadly disease. Getting a transplant is exchanging one deadly medical condition for another. Inga Clendinnen says of her transplant that,

“We know that for us health is an artificial condition. We will remain guinea pigs, experimental animals for as long as we live or, if you prefer, angels borne on the wings of our drugs, dancing on the pin of mortality. We know that today is as contingent as tomorrow”.[36]
“I go to the clinic every couple months. I count my pills, swallow them carefully. I intend to live.”[37]

Christiaan Barnard said, “You cannot stay in the laboratory forever”.[38] He, like Inga Clendinnen, was a realist and saw beyond the donation agency hype. Most transplant procedures include elements of experimentation and chance, a fact the donation agencies tone down in their promotional material.


[31] Watanabe, Yoshio. Why do I stand against the movement for cardiac transplantation in Japan”. from the Cardiovascular Institute, Fujita Health University School of Medicine. Toyoake, Japan. July 21, 1994

[32] Finn, Robert. Organ Transplants. O’Reilly and Associates Publishers, Sebastopol, California USA 2000

[33] Cooper, D.K.C. and Lanza, R.P. Xeno. Oxford University Press, New York, NY 2000 p 108

[34] Cooper, D.K.C. and Lanza, R.P. Xeno. Oxford University Press, New York, NY 2000

[35] Barnard, Christiaan and Curtis Bill Pepper. One Life. Australasian Publishing Company, Sydney, Australia 1972

[36] Clendinnen, Inga; Tiger’s Eye – A Memoir, The Text Publishing Company, Melbourne, Australia, 2000 p281

[37] Clendinnen, Inga; Tiger’s Eye – A Memoir, The Text Publishing Company, Melbourne, Australia, 2000 p286

[38] Cooper, D.K.C. and Lanza, R.P. Xeno. Oxford University Press, New York, NY 2000 page 178

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