This paper considers the ethical issues raised by xenotransplantation under four headings: interfering with nature; effects on the recipient; effects on other humans; and effects on donor animals. The first two issues raise no insuperable problems: charges of unnaturalness are misguided, and the risks that xenotransplantation carries for the recipient are a matter for properly informed consent. The other two issues raise more serious problems, however, and it is argued that if we take seriously the risk of transferring new infectious agents from animal to human populations and the interests of donor animals, then a moratorium on xenotransplantation is called for. The paper finds that the recent Nuffield Council and Department of Health reports on xenotransplantation are insufficiently cautious in the conclusions that they draw from these considerations.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.
Other content recommended for you
- Xenotransplantation: a bioethical evaluation
- Starting clinical trials of xenotransplantation—reflections on the ethics of the early phase
- The demise of UKXIRA and the regulation of solid-organ xenotransplantation in the UK
- Proceeding with clinical trials of animal to human organ transplantation: a way out of the dilemma
- ‘Dirty pigs’ and the xenotransplantation paradox
- Creating human organs in chimaera pigs: an ethical source of immunocompatible organs?
- Right of the living dead? Consent to experimental surgery in the event of cortical death
- Informed consent should be obtained from patients to use products (skin substitutes) and dressings containing biological material
- 3D bioprint me: a socioethical view of bioprinting human organs and tissues