Do Our Organs Have Memories?
posted by Jurriaan Kamp Feb 21, 2010 1:02 pm
filed under: Health & Wellness, News & Issues, On The Go, Spirituality, donor personalities, heart transplant
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Transplant patients sometimes take on part of their donors’ personalities.
Glenda lost her husband, David, in a car crash. She made his organs available for transplant. A few years later, as part of a study by neuropsychologist Paul Pearsall, she met the young Spanish-speaking man who had received her late husband’s heart. Filled with emotion, Glenda asked if she could lay her hand on his chest. “I love you, David,” she said. “Everything’s copacetic.”
The young man’s mother, also present, was startled. “My son uses that word now,” she said. “He never said it before his heart transplant. I don’t know that word; it doesn’t exist in Spanish. But it was the first thing he said after the operation.”
Her son appeared to have changed in other ways too. Before, he had been a health-conscious vegetarian; now he craved meat and greasy food. He had loved heavy metal music; now he played nothing but fifties rock ’n’ roll. Glenda’s husband had been an ardent meat-lover and played in a rock ’n’ roll band.
Does the heart have a memory? Is part of an organ donor’s personality also transferred to the recipient in a transplant? Yes, contends Pearsall in his book The Heart’s Code, which provides other remarkable examples of transplanted hearts with memories.
An 8-year-old girl received the heart of a 10-year-old girl who had been murdered. The recipient ended up at a psychiatrist’s office, plagued by nightmares about her donor’s murderer. She said she knew who the man was. After a few sessions, the psychiatrist decided to notify the police. Following the girl’s instructions, they tracked down the murderer. The man was convicted on evidence she had provided the first clues about: the time, the weapon, the place, the clothes he wore, what his victim told him. Everything the girl said turned out to be true.
Pearsall’s book is based on 73 heart-transplant cases in which parts of the donors’ personalities appear to have been transferred to the recipients.
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Michael M. says
Feb 22, 2010 3:05 PM
I could not help noticing the sharp cynicism on the part of some who say these thingsa re a lot of nonsense. Not seeing the wood for the trees is what has kept humanity so much in the dark about itself. We are discovering things in medicine which were in use thousand of years ago. We see pictograms that look like electric lamps in Egyptian tombs etc. It is too easy to dismiss things because they sound airey fairey, but in fact the nature of things - even electricity is not as as understood as most people think and it was taken on without understanding why it worked at all. I think there is a great deal to be learnt from people who bother to study unnatural phenomenon and even scientists of such table pounding as Dawkins recognizes the mystery of it all with illustrations of memory in many parts of some animal systems. I certainly believe in the possibility that what we call memory is not something confied to the brain which may well be of somewhat different order of things, but that every cell has as Dawkins says, an intelligence of its own and free to do what it wants within the limitations of its chemical possibilities. If the sperm and ovum carry all that knowledge whose to say that all cells and perhaps organs as a community of function, does not have copies of conscious essence in its own survival bid or even lend itself perhaps with all other living tissue to the process of awareness which in a corporate body finds its coordination centre in the brain. What I mea
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