The Greatest Gift: Organ and Tissue Donation
Click play to listen. Recorded on November 14, 2010.
For years, the knotty issues of organ donation, altruism, profit, exploitation, and quality of life have prompted reflection from biomedical ethicists and lay people alike. In this panel, two writers who have been affected personally by organ donation share their stories. Fiction writer and poet Richard McCann is at work on The Resurrectionist, a memoir about his experience as a liver transplant recipient. Joining him is Chicago Sun-Times journalist Chris Fusco, whose very public story of organ donation and loss was chronicled in his own newspaper nearly 10 years ago. Dr. John Franklin, associate professor of psychiatry and surgery at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine moderates.
Richard McCann is the author of Mother of Sorrows, a work of fiction, and Ghost Letters, a collection of poems which received the Beatrice Hawley Award, and Capricorn Poetry Award. He is currently working on a memoir titled The Resurrectionist. For his work, McCann has received grants and awards including those from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Christopher Isherwood Foundation, and the Fulbright Foundation.
Chris Fusco is a reporter at the Chicago Sun-Times specializing in investigative reports on state, city and county government. His work has been honored nationally by the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors, and also by Investigative Reporters and Editors. Locally, Fusco has won four Chicago Headline Club Peter Lisagor Awards — including a feature-writing honor in 2001 for a first-person series chronicling his liver donation to a close friend — and a Chicago Bar Association Herman Kogan Media Award.
Dr. John Franklin is an associate professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral science in the Weinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. His clinical interests include psychosomatic disorders, and chemical dependence.
Leaders And Thinkers
- Richard McCann
- Richard McCann's website with his books, interviews, and events.