Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Utilizing the Pig

Pigs to be bred for human organ transplants
// 09 Sep 2008

Lord Winston, the UK fertility expert, is to start breeding pigs in order to produce hearts, livers and kidneys for transplanting for humans. Winston believes genetically modified organs provide the best solution to tackle the shortage of organs needed. A record number of almost 8,000 British patients are waiting for an organ.

Highly controversialThe highly controversial method of transplanting animal organs – xenotransplantation – has been tried before with limited success. Many of the organs were rejected by the patients' immune system. The pigs will be bred with approximately six human genes to prevent patients rejecting their organs. Winston's team will need to prove that the pig organs can be sufficiently modified to survive long-term in the human body.

Winston said: "Pigs' organs are the right size for human transplantation, and they work similarly to human organs. Of course this raises a moral problem, but it is much more ethical to use a pig to save a human life than to use it for relatively unnecessary meat eating." Read More

It’s interesting how this researcher thinks that using pigs for their organs is “much more ethical” than using them as a source of food. Maybe he doesn’t realize that in both cases, this pig is going to cease to exist, and at that point what difference does it make. It would seem to me that using all of the animal for the benefit of human health would be a better use or our resources than just certain organs.

No comments: