Animal-to-Human Transplants

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Thesis Statement: Animal-to-human transplants (Xenotransplantation) should never be supported under whatever circumstance.

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Thesis statement
Introduction to animal-to-human transplants (Xenotransplantation)
Views of critics of animal-to-human transplant
Views of the Proponents of animal-to-human transplantations
Alternatives to animal-to-human transplants
Draft Essay

            Animal-to-human transplantation is commonly referred to as Xenotransplantation. It involves the removal of organs from one species with an intention of suing the same to save the life of another species (Beauchamp, G.pp.5-6). Xenotransplantation involves the usage tissue and organ transplants from animals and then grafted into an ailing human being. Worldwide, the need for organ transplants is on the rise whereby approximately 180,000 people are waiting for an organ transplant. However, out of all these only a small percentage of 30% succeed in receiving the transplants and die while waiting for the transplant (Thomson, H.pp.56-57). Because of these much has been directed into research in order to increase the number of organ and tissue transplants to be used to safe these ailing souls. On the other hand not all who succeed in receiving the transplant recover fully from their ailments whereby, some often experience and extended period of suffering as a result of organ or tissue rejection.

Concerns about Xenotransplantation (Animal-to-Human transplants)

Proponents of (Xenotransplantation) animal-to-human transplants indicate that transgenic animals are likely to produce an unlimited supply of organs and tissues which will be used for human transplant as a result increasing the supply of these organs which have for many years been limited leading to loss of lives which have otherwise been saved. However, Critics of Animal-to-human transplantation indicate that Xenotransplantation poses many challenges which need to be addressed (Mepham, T and Crilly Rpp.847-855). Their concerns include; Theological, Safety, patient welfare, and cost and sustainability concerns.

Theological concerns

            The creation story inform its believers that all living thing are a creation of God and thus should coexist with respect for each other and for the complex as well as strange changes of the earth and its ecosystems. The churches who are the leading believers of creation urge its followers to respect the life of other creatures and never to engage in something that will jeopardize the existence of other living things. As regard to animal-to-human organ transplant, Living with respect involves taking what we truly need to support life with dignity but not abusing or misusing the organs or tissues of other creatures to safe ours. According to the church, Xenotransplantation clearly transgresses the boundaries of species integrity that have evolved over the course of earth’s history, creating “in-between” species that are neither fully animal nor fully human (Abel, F pp.576). We cannot seek to evade death at all Costs especially when it means endangering the health of society as a whole or incurring high expenditures that threaten our public healthcare system. It asks it followers to remember that in life, in death, in life beyond death, God is with them and hence should stop fearing death.

Safety concerns.

            Critics feel that Animal-to-human transplant predispose the living creatures to strange illnesses which may be resistant to medication (Langley, G and D’ Silva J.pp.101-2). This is because researchers have hinted that there is a possibility of diseases crossing the species barrier, causing new epidemics.Similarly, after Xenotransplantation there emerges a species with both animal and human physiology hence some diseases that are specific to animals may attack humans breaking the natural species barriers via animal tissue.  Infected humans may in the end transmit to other humans through blood transfusion and sexual contact.Additionally; it has been found that some transplants are rejected by the body unless the recipient uses very strong immunosuppressive drugs. These drugs are used for a long period of time even for life leading to reduced defense against other new diseases that an individual may be prone to. These further negate the achievements that researchers of Xenotransplantation may have boasted about as regards to safety of the recipient species and therefore Xenotransplantation should not be supported.

Concern for the recipient’s health and welfare

            Xenotransplantation has many accompanied health risks on the recipient patients. Most recipients require pre-treatment with high doses of anti-rejection drugs, some of which are very strong and expensive. In addition the patients undergo a life threatening surgical procedures, and Post-Immunosuppressant for life. The recipients also are subjected to some unforeseen complications such as infections, severe rejections reactions, organ failure, psychological stress and trauma, and even a probable early death.   On the other hand, the opponents of Xenotransplantation feel that since the physiology of animals are different from that of humans there are increased chances of physiological unsuitability of the transplants used. This is because most of the organs used are from a four legged animal and are intended to be used in upright positioned humans and therefore, these organs may not be able to perform the intended functions since they are from two different species of different physiology.

Concerns about costs and sustainability

            Majority of the world populations can not afford Medicare and even in the United States; only 16% of the populations are covered by the social insurance schemes. The larger portion of its citizens of the low income earnings can not afford private medical care, therefore with decreasing financial resources and increased pressures on the existing health care systems, the research and health communities are left to decide on the best way to meet the needs of the society with minimum cost. Xenotransplantation has been found to pose greater biomedical risks as well as being very costly which demands that more resources are diverted from other viable alternatives for it to succeed. As a result if Xenotransplantation is encouraged it will over burden the government and also there are reduced chances of it being sustained for an increased period of time.

Alternatives to Xenotransplantation

            With the increased shortage of human organs and tissues for transplant coupled with the serious concerns raised as a result of xenotransplantation, there are many safer, cheaper and very effective alternatives to animal-to-human transplants these include; human-to-human organ transplant, stem cell research, and disease prevention.

Human-to-human organ transplant

            Human organ donor if encouraged it can serve as a viable alternative of Animal-to-human transplant. Human organ donors if achieved there will be a significant reduction on organ shortage. Ways to accomplish this idea include publicity an education campaigns, accessibility of donor cards as well as creating specially trained teams of health professionals to counsel families of accident victims who are potential donors. Similarly there is need to change the legislation or organ donation. Increasing the human-to-human transplants with increase research as well as reduce by half chances of organ failure or rejection.

Stem cell research

            The use of human cells to grow replacement organs and tissues on the other hand generate cells that can be grown so as to provide replacement cells ailing humans. Stem Cells are good alternatives for animal-to-human transplants this is because there are reduced chances of genetic mismatch and rejecting by the patient. Equally they are cheaper in terms of cost and sustainability compared to animal-to-human transplants.


Xenotransplantation has saved lives of many people but with a lot of cost. It has been found out that its benefits are minimal compared with its demerits. Some of the challenges facing Animal-to-human transplant include; risk of rejection, very expensive, and violation of the rights of other animals. In addition, there are many safer, more effective a more economical options for addressing the shortage of transplantable organs. These options should be exploited and instead of using a lot of public work to prevent diseases that make transplants necessary, and to fund research of more promising future alternatives.

Works cited

Beauchamp, G. Ethics and Xenotransplantation, Canadian journal of surgery, (1999) 42,

1, pp 5-6

Abel, F. Ethical aspects of organ Xenotransplants, methods and finding on experimental

and clinical pharmacology, (1999) 21, 8, pp. 576

McCarthy C. Ethical aspects of animal-to-human Xenografts, institute of laboratory

Animal resources, (1995) 37, pp 3-9

Mepham, T and Crilly R.Bioethical issues in the generation and use of transgenic farm

Animals, alternatives to laboratory animals, (1999) 27 Suppl. Pp 847-855

Thomson, H. The societal concerns of Xeno transplantation: Examining the risk of cross

Species Viral Transfer, Science Policy Research Unit, (2000).pp.56-57.

University of Sussex.

  Cooper, D & Lanza, R. Xeno: The promise of transplanting animal organs into humans,

(2000) Oxford University Press.

Langley, G and D’ Silva J. Animal organs in humans uncalculating risks and unanswered

Questions (London British union for the abolition of vivisection; compassion in

World farming (1998) pp.101-2

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Animal-to-Human Transplants. (2016, Jun 27). Retrieved from

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