March 6, 2011

Receiving An Organ And New Traits?

Filed under: Uncategorized — publicandprivatespace @ 11:06 pm

By: Kirsten Kipp

Over 28,000 people get organ transplants in the United States every year and another person is added to the waiting list every eleven minutes.  While this a huge statistic and most people know of the process of organ donation, we do not know the details that go on behind the scenes.  There is a huge debate going around about whether or not an organ recipient can receive traits from their donors.  Memories and traits are very private and personal things but they could be public when given to someone else.  Some scientist see this as an idea that is skeptical but others thought it was a phenomenon that was worth looking into.  There have been some accounts of stories that may prove this to be true so maybe the myth shows some truth.

The question that is up for debate is that recipients of organs not only receive that organ but memories and characteristics of their donor as well.  Scientists have always said that the personality and memories of a person are stored in their brain and nowhere else, but recent studies and stories have mixed up the messages.  Maybe a person’s memories and characteristics are not only held in the brain, but in every other part of the body as well.  Stories about people who have received, what seems to be, new characteristics from their donor have made some scientists think twice about this idea that all body parts can contain cells that store memories and emotions.

For example, there was a story about a man named Sonny Graham, who received a heart transplant from a man who committed suicide because of depression.  A little while after having his surgery Sonny tracked down the wife of the man who gave him his new heart and he said that he instantly fell in love her, even though he was already happily married.  He felt as if he had known her for years and he could not help but stare at her, so they decided to get married.  But in a tragic series of events, it was discovered that Sonny had also killed himself in the same way that his donor had done year’s prior.  Even though this seems like it could be logical because Sonny had no prior accounts of depression, many scientists will say that it’s just a coincidence.  However, this may spark some scientists to do some further investigations into these bizarre occurrences.

Sonny Grahamwith wife,Cheryl, whose previous husband committed suicide and gave Sonny his heart

Sonny Graham with wife,Cheryl, whose previous husband committed suicide and gave Sonny his heart.


Another story, which helps to give this myth some truth, is that of a forty seven year old man who received a heart from a seventeen year old, who died in a drive-by shooting.  The seventeen year old was said to have loved classical music and even played the violin, so when donor found he had a new love for classical music he was shocked to realize this information.  Bob Aronson wrote about this man in a blog he shared on the Internet and he said that while he seemed to be the same person after his transplant, he believed that this story may lead to the possibility of knowing memories and personality can be received from donors.

Bob Aronson writer of the blog.

Aronson even wrote about a man named Gary Schwartz, who had a research team discover 70 cases similar to this that suggest a theory or cellular memory, which says that all body parts can contain cells that store memories and personal characteristics.  This makes me believe that this concept could be a real fact because there have been multiple accounts of recipients receiving their donor’s traits, likes, dislikes, and memories.

So maybe all of these stories are false and people just made the situations seem real but, on the other hand, the accounts may be true.  Even though some scientists shrug their shoulders when it comes to this phenomenon, there could be a new evolution of information about the human body that is looking us straight in the face and saying the facts are true.  After all many people did not believe in Albert Einstein’s theories, such as E=mc2, but later on we found out that Einstein was a pretty smart guy, in fact a genius.  So maybe we should take these stories into consideration like some scientists and think that this could be a real possibility and not just a myth.  The next time there is a story on the news or in an article you read on the web about a person receiving a trait from an organ donor, do not be so quick to judge and dismiss it because this might just be a new discovery in science.

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