Xenotransplants Animal To Human Organ Transplants

1572 words - 6 pages

Xenotransplants - Animal to Human Organ Transplants
We should NOT risk the human race for the benefit of the few!

When asked how he feels about the advancement of science to places that were once notions to be the job of the creator, Dr. Martin Luther King replies by saying, “Cowardice asks is it safe? Expedience asks is it political? Vanity asks is it popular? But the conscience asks is it right?”

This essay is about animal to human organ transplants otherwise known as Xenotransplants. Even though this procedure is meant to save lives, it is giving rise to metaphoric Frankenstein’s monsters and putting some aspects of the Human Race at risk. This essay will discuss diseases that can jump species and cause catastrophic dangers for humans such as Ebola and AIDS which the human population has no resistance towards. I will also explore the different religious view points on Xenotransplantation.

I believe it is important to first explain what this procedure is about and how safe it is, keeping in mind the fact that four thousand people die each year waiting for human organs. So, what is Xenotransplantation? Xeno means strange or foreign. The term is used to describe a transplant between any two species of animals, including humans. Xenotransplantation usually refers to a procedure in which an organ, such as kidney or liver or live cells (such as brain cells) from a healthy animal are grafted or transplanted into a human patient. The transplanted materials are called xenotransplants or xenografts. Plus, there are certain kinds of xenotransplants which are not true transplants at all, because the animal organ or cells stay outside the patient’s body. These are called extra-corporeal (or outside the body) xenotransplants. That is for example when livers from pigs were connected to the bloodstream of several patients to clear toxic wastes while the patients’ own livers recovered. It should be mentioned that xenotransplants are not intended to be permanent. While human transplants are generally intended to be permanent, some kinds of transplanted cells may need to be replaced regularly in order to function well and remain vital. Also, certain kinds of xenotransplants are not really transplants at all, because the animal’s organ or cells stay outside the patient’s body and are used only in the short term, often as a bridge to transplant.

The safety of this procedure is always an issue because it has to do with risks to the patients and risks to other people who might come in contact with xenotransplant patients. Well, what are the risks a person might ask? To put in simple terms, animals may be infected with micro-organisms such as different bacterial or viruses which are infectious agents that exist in the environment where they live. In some cases, these micro-organisms are species specific-meaning they will only infect one kind of animal. For example, pigs suffer from a virus that infects their...

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