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June 9, 1989

Many Sleepless Nights: The World of Organ Transplantation

JAMA. 1989;261(22):3313-3314. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03420220127043

'We Have a Donor': The Bold New World of Organ Transplantation, by Mark Dowie, 242 pp, $16.95, New York, St Martin's Press, 1988.  "This book is fascinating," my secretary, an ex-schoolteacher, reported upon browsing through Lee Gutkind's Many Sleepless Nights. The book deals with the surgeons, scientists, and immunologists, their history and devotion to achieving, in the words of one, just "another goddamn miracle" that they made possible. The new generation of beneficiary surgeons may see "a slow transition from the lifesaving procedures of the 'God Squad, '" as the transplant team at the University of Pittsburgh is dubbed, "to enhancing life quality."This book is a narrative not only of those many pioneers who made transplantation possible but also of the patients and their families, of their suffering, anguish waiting for an organ, frustrations and hostility when an organ goes to another recipient or the donor is not the right