The Council has published a report entitled ‘Animal-to-human transplants: the ethics of xenotransplantation‘ addressing the complex ethical and safety issue, such as:
- is it ethical to use animals to provide ‘spare parts’ for humans?
- is it ethical to produce genetically modified pigs containing human genes?
- how can any animal suffering be minimised?
- will animal diseases be passed onto human beings?
- how can early patients be protected?
- could the NHS afford animal-to-human transplants?
The report gave cautious approval to xenotransplantation, recommending that development of animal-to-human transplants should continue, subject to rigorous regulation. The report called on the Government to establish an Advisory Committee on Xenotransplantation to regulate developments. Following a similar conclusion by a Government Inquiry chaired by Professor Ian Kennedy, the UK Xenotransplantation Interim Regulatory Authority (UKXIRA) has since been established.
Find out more about the Council’s work on xenotransplantation.