The Pros And Cons Of Xenotransplantation

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Introduction
The worldwide demand for cells, tissues and organs for transplantation far exceeds supply. People are dying while on waiting lists for transplants. Several ways to provide more donor tissue and save lives are being investigated including changing donation systems and legislation, sourcing tissue from animals and stem cell therapies (The University of Waikato, 2011).
Each country has its own organ donation system, rules and regulations. Some systems may result in more donors than others, but ultimately, donation rates are strongly influenced by peoples’ cultural, spiritual and religious views (The University of Waikato, 2011).
Transplanting living cells, tissues or organs from animals to humans could solve the donation shortfall
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For example, human skin cells grown outside the body on a layer of nonhuman cells and then used in humans for skin reconstruction can also be considered a xenotransplantation product (medscape, 2014). This latter category of procedures was included in the definition because scientists believe that the potential for transmission of an infectious disease with such a procedure may be similar to that of implanting live nonhuman animal cells, tissues, or organs directly into a human recipient (medscape,…show more content…
The human body doesn’t like things that are unfamiliar to it. That’s why blood transfusions must match blood types and direct organ donor matches have to be made. Because animal cells are distinctly different from human cells, the risks of having a transplant rejected are quite high if an entire animal organ is used.
There are also ethical issues when dealing with xenotransplantation. (Xenotransplantation Pros and Cons, 2014) If you we are using animals to supplement human life, then we are essentially exploiting them for our own needs. Some may see the use of animal organs as just another process of the food production industry. After all, many humans eat animals every day. Growing animals just to harvest their organs and not harvest their meat, however, would be a debate that society would need to hold (Xenotransplantation Pros and Cons, 2014).
There are longevity issues to consider. Although some animals outlive humans, the average animal has a much shorter lifespan. Because of this, their tissues and organs also have a natural lifespan that will be shorter than what humans may need of it. This would require patients to undergo several procedures in order to maintain a high standard of health. (Xenotransplantation Pros and Cons,

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