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Lung Transplants and Ethics

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Lungs can be successfully transplanted. Because a donor can live a normal life with less than 2 lungs, should a person be allowed to sell a lung or a portion of a lung? Explain how a person can live with less than 2 lungs and the ethics behind selling an organ.

Helpful thought: Why would evolution allow for extra structures? What are the ethics behind selling other parts of oneself? Accountants feel free to dwell on the money issues.

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Solution Summary

The expert examines lung transplants and ethics. The evolution which allows for extra structures are determined.

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Let's break this question down into a few parts.

1) Explain how a person can live with less than 2 lungs

This one is particularly easily. Each lung is capable of exchanging the waste product carbon dioxide (CO2) as a gas into the air that is inhaled, for the import of oxygen (O2) that is in the air. Since each lung is capable of doing so, we can easily lose 1 lung out of 2 and still be able to receive the oxygen we need and dispel CO2.

The only problem is, ultimately, having two lungs can be looked upon as having 100% capacity for gas ...

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