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Liver Transplant. This report will analyse how a liver transplant cures permanently damaged liver and what complications can occur.

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GCE AS Biology Unit 3 - Visit or Issue Report How to cure a permanently damaged liver? Introduction This report will analyse how a liver transplant cures permanently damaged liver and what complications can occur. The report is divided into three main sections. It will first consider the biological methods and processes behind the transplant. The second part compares the benefits and risks to humans, other organisms and the environment; outlining alternative solutions to the issue. It will then go on to describe the ethical and economical implications on the matter. Biological methods and processes What is the liver? The liver, situated in the right side of the abdomen cavity beneath the diaphragm and weighing approximately 1.8 kg in men and 1.3 kg in women is the largest internal organ in the body. The absence of a healthy liver is extremely critical since a human can only survive up to 24 hours without its complex and countless functions; hence it is a crucial organ. One exclusive feature of the liver is its remarkable ability to regenerate itself. There are more than 500 functions of the liver. Some functions are listed below: * processing digested food from the intestine * controlling levels of fats, amino acids and glucose in the blood * fighting infections in the body * clearing the blood of particles and infections including bacteria * ...read more.


A tube attached to a ventilator will aid patient's breathing by expanding their lungs automatically. This tube is positioned in the trachea by means of the patient's mouth. A special plastic called 'Jackson-Pratt drains' drain blood and fluid surrounding the liver just by the incision. Figure 4 shows the incision made [5] Figure 5 shows the entities given to recipient and entities remained with donor, for transplant [6] The actual transplant operation which involves the replacing the liver is carried out in three stages: 1. The diseased liver is cut away from the structures and blood vessels that hold it in place in the abdomen. This part of the operation may be very difficult and may result in a lot of bleeding. 2. The new healthy liver is then put in place. The 4 major blood vessels - the suprahepatic vena cava, infrahepatic vena cava, portal vein, and hepatic artery - are connected to the liver and blood flow is restored. The surgeon checks carefully to see if there is major bleeding and makes sure that the liver is getting an adequate supply of blood. 3. The final connection is made to the bile duct. This small tube carries bile made in the liver to the intestines. Once the connections are complete, the incision is closed and the recipient is taken to the intensive care unit for recovery. ...read more.


However, this view is not universally accepted. For example, Orthodox Jewish beliefs identify death as the end of the heart's function, not the brain. Therefore, the fact that the acceptance of the concept of brain death is essential for retrieving healthy viable organs; it makes it harder to get large numbers of donors. Nevertheless, there is a solution to this ethical problem. The liver remains viable for up to 60 minutes after the heart stops, allowing transplant to be performed during this period. Furthermore, equity is a major ethical issue when considering patient allocation on the waiting list. It is becoming an example of exploitation of the weak by the powerful. Livers are becoming more available to influential and important politicians or famous people and alternatively, patients with mental and physical disabilities rarely receive organs despite their need for transplant. The allocation should be based on fairness, justice and equity benefiting the needy rather than discrimination against some patients. The fact that the medication is biased towards superior people is simply because they are capable of affording the surgery. The cost of liver transplant is very expensive plus the immunosuppressant drugs, averaging to approximately �40000+ for a patient. This discourages people from low income background and forces them to carry out desperate measures to obtain such high amount of money. In addition, it intensifies the ethical issue since the famous people are able to pay off the huge expense. ...read more.

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