Life is Precious, 21 August 2000
Author: Martin Kohler ([email protected]) from Pretoria, South Africa
Having known someone who needed a kidney transplant, I was aware of the tremendous difficulty in finding a tissue matched donor organ. This film, which is about a heart transplant, brings out the desperation of the patient for whom there is no longer any other treatment option very clearly and realistically.
What I had not considered, and what this film made me aware of, is the extremely difficult position that the relatives of a deceased person are put in when they are requested to give permission for an organ donation. At this point they are already suffering from the shock and grief of having lost someone they loved, and this additional burden can test the limits of what they can bear.
This film is definitely not an “art” movie, but a very graphic and explicit documentation of what people experience under these circumstances. While modern medicine has brought with it many benefits (and I have seen the wonderful effect of a successful kidney transplant in real life), we still need to deal with our very human fears and prejudices.
I think that this is a most valuable film to see, as it confronts these issues in a very direct way, and may help to prepare one for the new moral and ethical responsibilities that technological advances have forced upon us.