Council publishes report on animal-to-human transplants

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.

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