In defense of xenotransplantation research: Because of, not in spite of, animal welfare concerns

Xenotransplantation (forthcoming)
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It is envisioned that one day xenotransplantation will bring about a future where transplantable organs can be safely and efficiently grown in transgenic pigs to help meet the global organ shortage. While recent advances have brought this future closer, worries remain about whether it will be beneficial overall. The unique challenges and risks posed to humans that arise from transplanting across the species barrier, in addition to the costs borne by non-human animals, has led some to question the value of xenotransplantation altogether. In response, we defend the value of xenotransplantation research, because it can satisfy stringent welfare conditions on the permissibility of animal research and use. Along the way, we respond to the alleged concerns, and conclude that they do not currently warrant a cessation or a curtailing of xenotransplantation research.

Author Profiles

Adam Omelianchuk
Baylor College of Medicine
Christopher A. Bobier
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
Daniel Rodger
London South Bank University


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