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Organ Donation

Greg discuss the dilemma yet vital topic of organ donation.

Todd: So, Greg, you have a new book out, and you're book has lots of controversial topics, and one of the topics is organ donation. So first can you explain what organ donation is?

Greg: Sure. Organ donation is when a person living or dead allows his or her organs to be used in another person.

Todd: So for example like you donate a liver, or kidney or something like that.

Greg: That's right.

Todd: And usually they have to get it... the person who dies, they have to get it soon.

Greg: Yes, that 100% right.

Todd: So is this something that's common in most countries?

Greg: Well, actually some countries do not allow organ and tissue donation, or they allow only some organs, some tissues and not allow others.

Todd: You know, your book is about controversial topics. What is controversial about organ donation?

Greg: Oh, there's a lot of controversial aspects to organ donation. Again, as I mentioned there are differences in every country. Some countries do not allow organ donation. Some allow some organs and won't others and there are also cases where say maybe a thousand people need a kidney but there's only fifty kidneys. Who is gonna get it? Should the kidney go to the sickest person but who might die? Should it go to the oldest person? Should it go to the youngest person? Should it go to the richest person? How do you decide? What's a fair way to decide?

Todd: Now, also I think in your book you were talking about medical tourism. Can you explain what that is?

Greg: Medical tourism is when people go to a country for the purpose of medical treatment which they can't get in their country either cause the treatment is not allowed or it's too expensive. You know, relating back to the question of controversy, there are lot of countries in the world which are very poor, and people are willing to sell their organs actually, so you have rich Arabs, rich Americans, rich Japanese, rich British people, people from any rich country, can't get an organ in their own country, and they'll go to a poor country to buy organs from poor people. Is that right? In some places it's illegal. There are also laws in many countries that say someone must, before they die, give permission for the body parts to be used, but those body parts are sometimes taken from people after their death without permission.

Todd: Yeah, that's pretty controversial stuff. That's pretty deep.

Greg: Yeah.

Learn vocabulary from the lesson

a new book out


So, Greg, you have a new book out.

A new book is written then published. When it arrives in bookstores, we say there is a new book out.  Notice the following:

  1. I'm going to surf Amazon to see if there are any interesting new books out.
  2. The world's best selling book writer, the late Agatha Christie, hasn't had a new book out in over 30 years.

controversial aspects


There are a lot of controversial aspects to the book.

When we discuss a topic that people have strong feelings about, we say the topic is controversial. Here, 'aspects' means parts; as in controversial parts of something. Notice the samples:

  1. There are controversial aspects to the new national health plan.
  2. The Prime Minister avoided discussing controversial aspects of her economic strategy.

relating back


Relating back to the question of controversy.

When we relate back to something, we return to an earlier topic in the conversation. Here are some samples:

  1. Relating back to the first question, I think the answer is yes.
  2. Why he joined Real Madrid relates back to the first question; why did he leave Liverpool?

give permission


They must give permission for the body parts to be used.

When we give permission to do something that means it is OK. Notice the sample sentences:

  1. My dad gave me permission to use his car on Saturday.
  2. Permission has been given to hold the festival on the school's football field.

That's pretty deep


Controversial stuff. That's pretty deep.

Here, 'deep' means strong feelings we have about serious experiences in our lives or just serious topics in general. Here are two samples:

  1. She talked about losing her father at an early age. That's pretty deep.
  2. In class today we talked about the origin of man. Everyone from different cultures, and religions had different opinions. It was pretty deep and controversial.

Vocabulary Quiz

new album out • controversial • relates back • permission • deep
  1. That question is a little too for me right now.  I'm very tired.
  2. I really want to go with you, but I'll have to ask my parents for .
  3. He will have a next month.
  4. Many people avoid talking about topics like religion and politics with their family.
  5. That statement to my previous point about the importance of a good education.
Answer the following questions about the interview.


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