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An organ which was grafted centuries ago

Published: 2014.12.10 - 15:58:47   /  web@renciclopedia.icrt.cu  /  Traslated by: Yurgen Enamorado Lardoeyt
  

An organ which was grafted centuries agoAlthough wonderful advances of medicine have been achieved, mainly in the field of surgery, nowadays, I would like to tell you that more than five centuries ago the Spanish sculptor Gregorio Berruguete, who died in 1561, performed for the first time an organ transplant.

Until then no one had dared to do such a risky and delicate operation. However, Berruguete, with his magnificent virtues, made a picture carved in marble where he shows his futuristic feeling of organ grafts, a painting located in a chapel of the Cathedral of Palencia, Spain.

A gentleman lying on a bed where he is provided a new leg is embodied in the altarpiece. The donor, a black man, was amputated a leg which was adapted exactly to the thigh of the patient who was surrounded by physicians.

The Spanish priest Asterio Moro, specialist in religious art, said that the altarpiece had never drawn someone’s attention so far, in which science has reached such achievements in surgery and when many transplants are already done. And there - in the chapel - only a miracle was performed, and not as an imaginative improvement of science.

The sculptor conceived in his imagination a black donor, whose left leg was grafted to a white man who had lost his. Does this entail a social difference in which a black man is sacrificed for the benefit of a white man, or perhaps a futuristic attempt of racial integration? You can draw your own conclusions.

(By Juan Blas Rodríguez)

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