Kidney to Share: A Living Kidney Donor's Experience and Lessons Learned

Tuesday, January 25, 2022 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
  • Humanities in Medicine Lecture
Martha Gershun and John D. Lantos, MD
3 photo array: Martha Gershun, Kidney to Share book cover, John D. Lantos

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In 2018, Martha Gershun donated a kidney at the Mayo Clinic to a woman she read about in the newspaper. In this talk, Ms.Gershun will discuss her decision to donate a kidney to a stranger and the long, complicated process that finally led to a successful surgery nine months later.  Dr. John Lantos, physician and bioethicist, will use her story to illustrate the ethical issues that arise in recovering and allocating organs from both living and deceased donors. They will suggest ways that the medical community could thoughtfully and safely reduce the burdens on living donors.  Doing so could shorten the waiting list for transplants and save lives.

Martha Gershun is a nonprofit consultant, writer, and community volunteer. Previously she was Executive Director of Jackson County CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) and the Reach Out and Read National Center. In addition to co-authoring Kidney to Share, she has written Care & Custody: A Novel of Three Children at Risk. Her work has appeared in The Kansas City Star and The New York Times Magazine.

John D. Lantos, MD holds the Glasnapp Family Foundation Chair in Bioethics at Children’s Mercy Hospital and University of Missouri–Kansas City School of Medicine. His books include Do We Still Need Doctors? and Neonatal Bioethics. Following the publication of Kidney to Share in early 2021, his most recent book, Ethics of Shared Decision Making, was released this Fall. He is an Associate Editor of the American Journal of Bioethics and a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Bioethics.