The bizarre tales of patients with transplanted organs
Now, a report from the University of Colorado puts forward a new hypothesis: Is it possible for recipients of transplanted organs to inherit the characteristics and habits of their donors?
Recipients should unconsciously take on characteristics of their donors.Getty
The University of Colorado published a list of phenomena related to organ transplants last year. A number of patients are said to have suddenly developed new characteristics and habits after the procedure. The authors’ hypothesis: cells have stored the donor’s habits, they can “remember.”
Recipients adopt donor habits
Journal author Mitchell Liester tells of recipients who suddenly love spicy food but had an aversion to spicy food before the transplant. A recipient is said to have suddenly become a big fan of classical music – the donor was shot on the way to violin lessons. Another had developed unusual sexual sensations after the transplant – the donor had been a lesbian woman. While some explain these phenomena as a processing process of the grateful organ donor recipient, others are quite convinced of the memory mechanisms fixed in cells. Neither the one nor the other could really be confirmed so far.
Scientific Explanation: Imagination in processing
Franz Immer, head of the Swiss Society for Organ Donation and Transplantation, explains the phenomenon with psychological processing. “Patients feel a great gratitude to the donor who has given them a new quality of life, often enabling them to survive. Virtually all recipients celebrate the transplant date as if it were a second birthday, commemorating the Spenders and his family.” The new habits and traits would emerge”in processing this long-awaited gift of organ donation.” Namely, the recipients would “glorify” the donor.