Organ transplantation is widely agreed to be one of medicine’s most effective therapeutic tools, at least in the developed world. In the relatively short time since the tentative early stages of transplantation programmes, more and more organs (or parts of them) can be used to save lives – and to do so for increasingly long periods of time. In 2003, the World Health Organisation noted that:

The transplantation of organs, cells and tissues has become the treatment of choice for a wide range of both fatal and non-fatal diseases, resulting in high levels of demand for transplantation services, particularly in high-and middle-income countries.1