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Xenotransplantation: a bioethical evaluation
  1. M Anderson
  1. Correspondence to:
 M Anderson
 University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 12617 Netherhall Dr, Charlotte, NC 28269, USA; mganders{at}


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
  • xenotransplantation
  • animal rights
  • bioethics

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