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CONTACT: MARY GERAGHTY
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0011; fax (319) 384-0024
e-mail: mary-geraghty@uiowa.edu

Release: April 18, 2000

Visiting lecturer to speak at UI April 26 on organ donation in Japan

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Until late 1997, doctors in Japan were prohibited from harvesting donor organs from brain-dead patients. Japanese law allowed removal of organs for transplant only when the patient's heart stopped beating, which made transplants of hearts, livers and certain other organs impossible because they deteriorate too rapidly after the heart stops.

In a free, public lecture at the University of Iowa, Kaoruko Aita, a Fulbright Journalist Visiting Scholar and Harvard University Fellow in Medical Ethics, will speak on the 30-year ban on organ transplants from brain-dead donors. His presentation, "Delayed Medical Information Disclosure in Japan: The Cause of Japan's Three-Decade Moratorium in Organ Transplants from Brain Dead Donors," takes place Wednesday, April 26 at 4 p.m. in Room 3139 Medical Laboratories on the UI campus. It is sponsored by the Center for Asian and Pacific Studies (CAPS) at the UI.

Aita has worked as a staff writer for the Japan Times for eight years. His articles cover issues in health care and politics, and his current field of research is in organ transplantation. His presentation will focus on the medical and socio-political issues surrounding the practice of using transplant organs from brain dead donors in Japan.

For more information or if you require special accommodations to attend this lecture, please call CAPS at (319) 335-1305.

CAPS is affiliated with UI International Programs, which consist of a number of offices, centers, degree programs, academic programs, research projects and services. Organized under the associate provost and dean for international programs, these units serve to further internationalize the campus and community and promote global scholarship, research and teaching.