The Dilemma of Organ Donation
Virginia Postrel is a political and cultural writer who is a contributing editor for The Atlantic, editor-in-chief of DeepGlamour.net, and the author of The Substance of Style and The Future and Its Enemies. She is currently writing a book on glamour for The Free Press. She previously wrote an economics column in The New York Times for six years, served as editor of Reason and has worked as a reporter for Inc. Magazine and The Wall Street Journal. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Foundation for Individual Rights and is a popular blogger and speaker. She was educated at Princeton University and lives in Los Angeles.
Virginia Postrel: today all my policy work is actually on trying to reform organ donation policy. I want to get rid of the waiting list for kidneys. That's my goal. And I'm working with some other people on that. I became a kidney donor about a year ago. And from that experience was because a friend needed a kidney, I became aware that there is this really terrible problem. Terrible shortages. It's not something that can be solved by everybody signing up as a donor on the driver's license, because there actually aren't enough deceased donors. Even if everybody donated, the numbers donors add up because you have to die in the right way. So we need to get more living donors, and I've been thinking a lot about how that might be done. And the thing is it's unlike curing AIDS or making Africa rich, all these things that people try to do. This is really a small, solvable problem that we ought . . . It ought not to be a problem. We have all the tools available, but we do have to change some attitudes and institutions. So that's my policy work now. Whoknows if I will succeed in that? And not just me but some other people who I've worked with. That would be a big deal, at least for the 72,000 people who are waiting for kidneys.
Recorded on: 7/4/2007
Image courtesy of Shutterstock.
Postrel realized the magnitude of the problem when she donated a kidney to a friend.
Giving our solar system a "slap in the face"
- A stream of galactic debris is hurtling at us, pulling dark matter along with it
- It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
- Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
Two massive clouds of dust in orbit around the Earth have been discussed for years and finally proven to exist.
- Hungarian astronomers have proven the existence of two "pseudo-satellites" in orbit around the earth.
- These dust clouds were first discovered in the sixties, but are so difficult to spot that scientists have debated their existence since then.
- The findings may be used to decide where to put satellites in the future and will have to be considered when interplanetary space missions are undertaken.
Once again, our circadian rhythm points the way.
- Seven individuals were locked inside a windowless, internetless room for 37 days.
- While at rest, they burned 130 more calories at 5 p.m. than at 5 a.m.
- Morning time again shown not to be the best time to eat.
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