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Saving more lives

To the Editor:

The story regarding the Total Artificial Heart ("When cutting out a heart saves a life," DP, 2/20/07), which referred to it as a "bridge to transplant," only further highlights the great need in the Philadelphia community for more organ donors. While Gary Onufer will thankfully have more time to await his new heart, the fact still remains that the transplant waiting list is growing and not everyone has the time to wait for his or her second chance at life.

Currently, 18 people die waiting for a life-saving organ transplant each and every day. In the greater Philadelphia region, more than 5,100 of our neighbors are waiting. But just one donor can save or enhance the lives of 50 people.

Gift of Life Donor Program, the region's organ-donor program, works extensively to bring more awareness and education about organ and tissue donation. In Pennsylvania and Delaware, it's now as easy as a couple of mouse clicks to add the donor designation on your driver's license or state ID. Just go to or

I would also encourage all the readers to log onto Gift of Life's Web site,, or call us at 800-DONORS-1 and learn more about donation. Talk to your family about your decision to save lives.

Howard Nathan The author is president & CEO of the Gift of Life Donor Program

Challenging norms

To the Editor:

I was struck by the naive representation of women's colleges provided by Emily Garrett ("Men need a college education, too," DP, 2/20/07). First, women do not go to women's colleges because they are afraid of men. They go for all different reasons, many just because they crave a small, liberal-arts experience with seminar-style classes from the first year.

Second, to claim that Penn is any more like the "real world" than the remaining women's colleges is misguided. What would most make colleges across the board more like the "real world" has little to do with sex ratios of the student body and more to do with class (As in: socio-economic status).

In response to her closing sentence (which naturalizes the notion of men as the usual "big dogs" in the "real world"), I point her to the example of "big dog" historian Drew Gilpin Faust, who recently shattered one of America's oldest glass ceilings by becoming the first female president of Harvard University. Faust, incidentally, graduated from a women's college.

Finally, I strongly support the remaining American women's colleges. In contrast to "protesting [women's] absorption in a male-driven society," the women's college graduates I know challenge the notion that society must be male-driven in the first place. And certainly, they come away from college with a more complex and nuanced version of gender and sex than Ms. Garrett presented in her column.

Crystal Biruk Anthropology graduate student

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