Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Does an organ transplant change your personality?
From the Telegraph.co.uk New kidney 'changed my whole personality' Last Updated: 2:38am GMT 16/03/2008 A woman claims to have undergone a complete "personality transplant" after receiving a new kidney. Cheryl Johnson, 37, says she has changed completely since receiving the organ in May. She believes that she must have picked up her new characteristics from the donor, a 59-year-old man who died from an aneurysm. Now, not only has her personality changed, the single mother also claims that her tastes in literature have taken a dramatic turn. Whereas she only used to read low-brow novels, Dostoevsky has become her author of choice since the transplant. Miss Johnson, from Penwortham, in Preston, Lancs, said: "You pick up your characteristics from your donor. My son said when I first had the transplant, I went stroppy and snappy - that wasn't me. "I have always loved books but I've started to read classics like Jane Austen and Dostoevsky. I found myself reading Persuasion." The former Preston North End football steward's life has been turned round since her successful operation. After developing kidney problems in 1998, she had previously undergone every available form of dialysis as well as a failed transplant in 2001. Miss Johnson added: "It's given my 16-year-old boy his mum back. "I totally respect the family who gave me this kidney. They have given me the best thing they can - a chance for a normal life. I am forever grateful to them."' Academics in America have developed a theory called cellular memory phenomenon to explain the personality changes that are allegedly experienced by some transplant recipients. Examples include a Massachusetts woman with vertigo who became a climber; a Milwaukee lawyer who began eating Snickers, having always hated chocolate; and a seven-year-old girl who had nightmares about being killed after being given the heart of a murdered child. However, the only case recognised by the scientific community is that of a 15-year-old Australian girl whose blood type changed following a liver transplant. UK Transplant also remains sceptical about the phenomenon. A spokesman said: "While not discarding it entirely, we have no reason to believe that it happens. We would be interested to see any definitive evidence that supports it." ********************************************************************************** I think this is a lot of nonsense. If a person has a soul (a subject not addressed by science with anything other than a sniff), the soul isn't a physical part of the cells within one's body. The soul is the life force, and when the life force leaves the body, the body dies. End of story. Where the soul goes and what happens to it - that is what religion addresses. There are lots of stories about so-called personality take-overs after people have had organ translants. Well then, why doesn't this happen when one has a blood transfusion? Blood is the biggest organ of the human body. And yet, we don't here stories about personality changes after a blood transfusion, do we? How many blood transfusions have there been - millions? A billion? Hundreds of thousands of organ transplants have been made since they became techologically feasible (not to mention blood transfusions, which first became common practice during WWII). But, very few have resulted in this so-called "personality change," which is just another description for soul migration! So what does that mean for all the hundreds of thousands of transplant recipients that have not resulted in a "soul transplant?" One other thing that always bothers me about these accounts - what happened to the former soul whose body has been taken over by the "transplanted personality"? Did the former personality just roll-over and let the other "soul" take over the body's life? Would YOU be that wimpy? Would you give up fighting for your life because some bit of someone else's soul that didn't know it had croaked was taking over your body? Would you not mind being a zombie?