Bioethics Briefing No 4:Xenotransplantation

This resource comprises a series of briefings and is part of the Bioethics Bytes website.This is the fourth in the series of briefings and was written by Chris Willmott (University of Leicester).

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As human-to-human transplantation has become more and more successful, it has almost become a victim of its own success. There is a shortage of donor organs, and even with more government initiatives to change the organ donor register system, there will still be a shortfall. Would animal cells, organs and tissues be able to fill this gap? There are a lot of immunological problems associated with this type of transplantation, there are the ethical issues surrounding the breeding of genetically modified animals (such as pigs), there are psychological issues for people in receipt of these types of donor organs, and there are arguments in favour of the use of animal donor organs. These areas are all covered in this briefing.

Each topic is available as a PDF file which can be downloaded. The PDF files contain background information, case studies, a list of resources and links to further information.

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