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John Bower Morton MB ChB 1961, BMedSc 1959 (University of Otago), FRCS Edin 1969, FRACS 1975

4 January 1935–19 September 2022

John Morton was born in Invercargill, was the son of John Thomas and Johan Morton (neé Calder) and grew up on Top View Farm, Seaward Downs near Edendale in Southland. John attended the one-teacher Seaward Downs School, and Southland Boys’ High School. At the latter, he excelled in singing and began his sailing journey, which later included helping to build and sail the Tuarangi to Australia.

John graduated MB ChB in 1961 from the University of Otago. In 1959, he had also completed a BMedSc in the Microbiology Department, where he first became interested in the transplantation of human tissues. While he was a student, he was awarded a Blue for yachting.

He worked at Wellington Hospital between 1962 and 1964 as a junior doctor, where he first saw patients with chronic kidney failure, and was involved with the vascular access provision for the dialysis treatment of a man with a crush injury causing acute renal failure. This experience sparked a lifelong interest in the provision of vascular access for patients needing haemodialysis. While working in Wellington he met Irene Wood, a laboratory technician at the hospital. They were married in 1965 and had three children: Lisa, Carolyn and Bruce. John and Irene separated in 1982, and John married his former theatre nurse, Allison Coster in 1986.

In 1965, he joined the surgical training scheme established by Sir Brian Barrett-Boys at Auckland Hospital. While he was there, the first kidney transplant in New Zealand was done and John gained his first experience in donor nephrectomy and with assisting in transplant operations.

In 1968, he travelled to Edinburgh as a ship’s doctor and worked for a short time at the University of St Andrews as an assistant lecturer in the Department of Anatomy, before being appointed registrar in the Nuffield Transplantation Surgery Unit headed by Professor Sir Michael Woodruff. It was here where he trained as a renal transplant surgeon.

John joined the newly established Academic Department of Surgery at Christchurch Hospital in 1973 and set up its kidney transplant programme. He was Chairman (1988–1992) followed by Clinical Director (1992–1996) of the Department of General and Vascular Surgery at Christchurch Hospital. He was made an Associate Professor of Surgery in 1979. From 1973 to his retirement from surgical practice in 1996, John provided skilled and compassionate care for hundreds of kidney patients in the South Island who remember him with affection and respect.

In the early days of kidney transplantation in New Zealand, John was a leader in how best to obtain permission for organ donation, compassionately taking into account the needs of grieving families. He worked tirelessly to improve the public’s understanding of the benefits of organ donation, and to improve the rate of donation.

He pioneered the introduction of modern brain death protocols critical to ensuring community support for organ donation after death, and also the development of a national standard of practice for solid organ transplantation.

John’s wisdom and encouragement were key factors in the start of living donor kidney transplantation at Christchurch Hospital in 1974, and in the Christchurch Transplant Group carrying out the first altruistic non-directed living kidney transplant in Australasia in 1998.

John was a dedicated and popular clinical teacher. He was awarded the University of Otago’s Gold Medal for Excellence in Teaching in 2013. Two of his surgical trainees—Justin Roake and Stephen Munn—became transplant surgeons and professors of surgery.

In 1996, John took up a position as Medical Advisor to the Resident Medical Officer Unit at Christchurch Hospital, and became a Living Donor Counsellor for the South Island Renal Transplant Service.

John was a member for ten years, and Chairman for five, of the Medical Council of New Zealand’s Complaints Assessment Committees.

John had an interest in ethics from an early age. He enjoyed teaching medical ethics to his students, and was Chairman of the Christchurch Hospital Ethics Committee for ten years, from 1980–1990. Another interest, influenced by Archie Cochrane’s writings, was the study of the effectiveness of surgical interventions.

John is survived by his sister, three children and two grandsons.

Summary

Abstract

Aim

Method

Results

Conclusion

Author Information

Acknowledgements

Correspondence

Kelvin Lynn: Kidney Health New Zealand.

Correspondence Email

k-c.lynn@xtra.co.nz

Competing Interests

Nil.

For the PDF of this article,
contact nzmj@nzma.org.nz

View Article PDF

John Bower Morton MB ChB 1961, BMedSc 1959 (University of Otago), FRCS Edin 1969, FRACS 1975

4 January 1935–19 September 2022

John Morton was born in Invercargill, was the son of John Thomas and Johan Morton (neé Calder) and grew up on Top View Farm, Seaward Downs near Edendale in Southland. John attended the one-teacher Seaward Downs School, and Southland Boys’ High School. At the latter, he excelled in singing and began his sailing journey, which later included helping to build and sail the Tuarangi to Australia.

John graduated MB ChB in 1961 from the University of Otago. In 1959, he had also completed a BMedSc in the Microbiology Department, where he first became interested in the transplantation of human tissues. While he was a student, he was awarded a Blue for yachting.

He worked at Wellington Hospital between 1962 and 1964 as a junior doctor, where he first saw patients with chronic kidney failure, and was involved with the vascular access provision for the dialysis treatment of a man with a crush injury causing acute renal failure. This experience sparked a lifelong interest in the provision of vascular access for patients needing haemodialysis. While working in Wellington he met Irene Wood, a laboratory technician at the hospital. They were married in 1965 and had three children: Lisa, Carolyn and Bruce. John and Irene separated in 1982, and John married his former theatre nurse, Allison Coster in 1986.

In 1965, he joined the surgical training scheme established by Sir Brian Barrett-Boys at Auckland Hospital. While he was there, the first kidney transplant in New Zealand was done and John gained his first experience in donor nephrectomy and with assisting in transplant operations.

In 1968, he travelled to Edinburgh as a ship’s doctor and worked for a short time at the University of St Andrews as an assistant lecturer in the Department of Anatomy, before being appointed registrar in the Nuffield Transplantation Surgery Unit headed by Professor Sir Michael Woodruff. It was here where he trained as a renal transplant surgeon.

John joined the newly established Academic Department of Surgery at Christchurch Hospital in 1973 and set up its kidney transplant programme. He was Chairman (1988–1992) followed by Clinical Director (1992–1996) of the Department of General and Vascular Surgery at Christchurch Hospital. He was made an Associate Professor of Surgery in 1979. From 1973 to his retirement from surgical practice in 1996, John provided skilled and compassionate care for hundreds of kidney patients in the South Island who remember him with affection and respect.

In the early days of kidney transplantation in New Zealand, John was a leader in how best to obtain permission for organ donation, compassionately taking into account the needs of grieving families. He worked tirelessly to improve the public’s understanding of the benefits of organ donation, and to improve the rate of donation.

He pioneered the introduction of modern brain death protocols critical to ensuring community support for organ donation after death, and also the development of a national standard of practice for solid organ transplantation.

John’s wisdom and encouragement were key factors in the start of living donor kidney transplantation at Christchurch Hospital in 1974, and in the Christchurch Transplant Group carrying out the first altruistic non-directed living kidney transplant in Australasia in 1998.

John was a dedicated and popular clinical teacher. He was awarded the University of Otago’s Gold Medal for Excellence in Teaching in 2013. Two of his surgical trainees—Justin Roake and Stephen Munn—became transplant surgeons and professors of surgery.

In 1996, John took up a position as Medical Advisor to the Resident Medical Officer Unit at Christchurch Hospital, and became a Living Donor Counsellor for the South Island Renal Transplant Service.

John was a member for ten years, and Chairman for five, of the Medical Council of New Zealand’s Complaints Assessment Committees.

John had an interest in ethics from an early age. He enjoyed teaching medical ethics to his students, and was Chairman of the Christchurch Hospital Ethics Committee for ten years, from 1980–1990. Another interest, influenced by Archie Cochrane’s writings, was the study of the effectiveness of surgical interventions.

John is survived by his sister, three children and two grandsons.

Summary

Abstract

Aim

Method

Results

Conclusion

Author Information

Acknowledgements

Correspondence

Kelvin Lynn: Kidney Health New Zealand.

Correspondence Email

k-c.lynn@xtra.co.nz

Competing Interests

Nil.

For the PDF of this article,
contact nzmj@nzma.org.nz

View Article PDF

John Bower Morton MB ChB 1961, BMedSc 1959 (University of Otago), FRCS Edin 1969, FRACS 1975

4 January 1935–19 September 2022

John Morton was born in Invercargill, was the son of John Thomas and Johan Morton (neé Calder) and grew up on Top View Farm, Seaward Downs near Edendale in Southland. John attended the one-teacher Seaward Downs School, and Southland Boys’ High School. At the latter, he excelled in singing and began his sailing journey, which later included helping to build and sail the Tuarangi to Australia.

John graduated MB ChB in 1961 from the University of Otago. In 1959, he had also completed a BMedSc in the Microbiology Department, where he first became interested in the transplantation of human tissues. While he was a student, he was awarded a Blue for yachting.

He worked at Wellington Hospital between 1962 and 1964 as a junior doctor, where he first saw patients with chronic kidney failure, and was involved with the vascular access provision for the dialysis treatment of a man with a crush injury causing acute renal failure. This experience sparked a lifelong interest in the provision of vascular access for patients needing haemodialysis. While working in Wellington he met Irene Wood, a laboratory technician at the hospital. They were married in 1965 and had three children: Lisa, Carolyn and Bruce. John and Irene separated in 1982, and John married his former theatre nurse, Allison Coster in 1986.

In 1965, he joined the surgical training scheme established by Sir Brian Barrett-Boys at Auckland Hospital. While he was there, the first kidney transplant in New Zealand was done and John gained his first experience in donor nephrectomy and with assisting in transplant operations.

In 1968, he travelled to Edinburgh as a ship’s doctor and worked for a short time at the University of St Andrews as an assistant lecturer in the Department of Anatomy, before being appointed registrar in the Nuffield Transplantation Surgery Unit headed by Professor Sir Michael Woodruff. It was here where he trained as a renal transplant surgeon.

John joined the newly established Academic Department of Surgery at Christchurch Hospital in 1973 and set up its kidney transplant programme. He was Chairman (1988–1992) followed by Clinical Director (1992–1996) of the Department of General and Vascular Surgery at Christchurch Hospital. He was made an Associate Professor of Surgery in 1979. From 1973 to his retirement from surgical practice in 1996, John provided skilled and compassionate care for hundreds of kidney patients in the South Island who remember him with affection and respect.

In the early days of kidney transplantation in New Zealand, John was a leader in how best to obtain permission for organ donation, compassionately taking into account the needs of grieving families. He worked tirelessly to improve the public’s understanding of the benefits of organ donation, and to improve the rate of donation.

He pioneered the introduction of modern brain death protocols critical to ensuring community support for organ donation after death, and also the development of a national standard of practice for solid organ transplantation.

John’s wisdom and encouragement were key factors in the start of living donor kidney transplantation at Christchurch Hospital in 1974, and in the Christchurch Transplant Group carrying out the first altruistic non-directed living kidney transplant in Australasia in 1998.

John was a dedicated and popular clinical teacher. He was awarded the University of Otago’s Gold Medal for Excellence in Teaching in 2013. Two of his surgical trainees—Justin Roake and Stephen Munn—became transplant surgeons and professors of surgery.

In 1996, John took up a position as Medical Advisor to the Resident Medical Officer Unit at Christchurch Hospital, and became a Living Donor Counsellor for the South Island Renal Transplant Service.

John was a member for ten years, and Chairman for five, of the Medical Council of New Zealand’s Complaints Assessment Committees.

John had an interest in ethics from an early age. He enjoyed teaching medical ethics to his students, and was Chairman of the Christchurch Hospital Ethics Committee for ten years, from 1980–1990. Another interest, influenced by Archie Cochrane’s writings, was the study of the effectiveness of surgical interventions.

John is survived by his sister, three children and two grandsons.

Summary

Abstract

Aim

Method

Results

Conclusion

Author Information

Acknowledgements

Correspondence

Kelvin Lynn: Kidney Health New Zealand.

Correspondence Email

k-c.lynn@xtra.co.nz

Competing Interests

Nil.

Contact diana@nzma.org.nz
for the PDF of this article

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