The surgeon in charge of the operation said on Sunday that a combined liver-kidney transplant, the first in Japan, ended in success at the Okayama University Hospital. The organs had been harvested from a man who passed away as a result brian death. Professor Takahito Yagi told reporters that there had been no problems, and the organ recipient, a woman in her 50s, was now in stable condition.
The donor was a man in his 40s who had suffered from a terrible head injury. He was declared brain dead at a hospital in Shikoku, a requirement for organ transplant in Japan. While the man had never voiced his interest in donation, his family made the decision on his behalf. Yagi says that the recipient is expected to finish hospitalization in around two months, assuming there are no issues with her recovery.
Japan revised its organ transplant laws in 2010. First established in 1997, the law required that donations were only permitted when the donor died of brain death, there was prior written consent, and secondary consent from the donor’s family members. The relaxations of the criteria still requires brain death for donors, but double consent is no longer necessary. In addition, one of the other significant changes allows for children under the age of 18 to now be eligible to donate, whereas before 2010 it was prohibited.
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