In 1988, Claire Sylvia received the first heart-lung transplant performed in New England. In the days and weeks following her surgery, she realized that she had some strange new cravings. For one thing, she found herself “dying for a beer,” even though she’d never liked beer before. She also began to add green peppers to… Continue reading Can an Organ Transplant Alter Your Identity?
When I was in graduate school for philosophy, I took a class with Derek Parfit who was known for his work on the relationship between personal identity and ethics. One of the thought experiments he asked us to consider (taken from his book Reasons and Persons) involved our brain's being transplanted into two separate bodies--half of… Continue reading Can a Heart Transplant Change Your Identity?