Allograft shortage is a formidable obstacle in organ transplantation. Xenotransplantation, the interspecies transplantation of cells, tissues, and organs, or ex vivo interspecies exchange between cells, tissues, and organs is a frequently suggested alternative to this allograft shortage. As xenotransplantation steadily improves into a viable allotransplantation alternative, several bioethical considerations coalesce. Such considerations include the Helsinki declaration’s guarantee of patients’ rights to privacy; political red tape that may select for undermined socioeconomic groups as the first recipients of xenografts; industry incentives in xenotransplantation investments; conflicts of interest when a clinician supervises a patient as a research subject; the psychosocial impact of transplantation on the xenograft recipient, and the rights of animals. This review illuminates these issues through a conglomeration of expert opinion and relevant experimental studies.
- HPC, hepatitis C
- IACUC, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees
- IRB, institutional review board
- NOTA, National Organ Transplant Act
- RAC, Recombinant DNA Advisory Council
- animal rights