He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?" - Romans 8:32

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Tuesday, October 06, 2009 

Hoping I Don't Need a Liver While Living in Japan

With regard to Japan’s history of organ transplantation, the first Japanese heart transplantation occurred in 1968. The public promptly accused the doctor of murder although the prosecuting authorities did not follow through with a prosecution. Japan barred organ donations until 1997. Period. Barred. None. Nada. Even from adults who were brain dead! In July 19, 2009 (that's this year), Japan agreed to allow organ donation for brain dead children .

Until 1997, Japan barred organ donations from even adults who were brain dead. A law enacted that year lifted the ban but continued to prohibit children from donating, citing their inability to make such a mature decision. It also only authorized organs to be taken from patients who specifically gave their consent — contributing to a severe shortage in the country. The law passed . . . will give relatives the authority to consent to donations in cases where the patient’s own intentions were unclear, according to the document, which was posted on the legislature’s Web site. It will take effect in the summer of 2010, a parliamentary official said on condition of anonymity, citing policy.

Mari Yamaguchi, Japan Lifts Child Organ Donation Ban, Associated Press, July 19. 2009.

There is a discussion of the evolving law of Japan
here. So, if you need a transplant and you live in Japan, either you sought an international transplant, or you die.

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