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Dr. Joseph E. Murray: 3 Patients a Nobel Laureate Treated
Posted By Patrick Kiger On November 29, 2012 @ 9:49 am In Legacy | Comments Disabled
When we celebrate medical pioneers, we usually focus on the revolutionary breakthroughs that they achieve. It’s easy to forget that they’re not just innovative researchers but physicians as well, and that their calling isn’t just to win Nobel Prizes but also to help the flesh-and-blood human beings on their operating tables.
Dr. Joseph E. Murray, a surgeon who performed the first successful organ transplant in 1954 and shared the 1990 Nobel Prize in Medicine  with Dr. E. Donnall Thomas  for discoveries that enabled transplantation to become a lifesaving medical treatment, always had his patients in mind. In fact, his connection with them was the motivation that drove him to innovate. Murray, who died on Nov. 26 at age 93  in Boston, had this to say in his official Nobel biographical sketch : ” In our daily patients we witness human nature in the raw — fear, despair, courage, understanding, hope, resignation, heroism. If alert, we can detect new problems to solve, new paths to investigate.”
In particular, three of Murray’s patients illustrate the bond that he felt with those he treated.
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URL to article: http://blog.aarp.org/2012/11/29/dr-joseph-e-murray-3-patients-a-nobel-laureate-treated/
URLs in this post:
 1990 Nobel Prize in Medicine: http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/1990/
 Dr. E. Donnall Thomas: http://blog.aarp.org/2012/10/24/e-donnall-thomas-the-father-of-bone-marrow-transplants/
 died on Nov. 26 at age 93: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/28/health/dr-joseph-e-murray-transplant-doctor-and-nobel-winner-dies-at-93.html?hp
 biographical sketch: http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/1990/murray.html
 2004 memoir: http://www.shpusa.com/shp_books/surgery-of-the-soul/
 died in 2004: http://www.utsandiego.com/uniontrib/20041022/news_1m22woods.html
 2011 essay:: http://hms.harvard.edu/content/fight-life
 Image: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTUvmr3wzqs
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