February 6th, 2002, 03:44 PM
Animal Transplants to Save Lives.....
In just about every country in the world there are long lists of people of all ages waiting to have an organ transplant of some type. Millions arcoss the world have to hook up to dialisis machines to clean their blood each week because there are no livers available for transplant. No one can deny the fact that there is a shortage of human organs ready to be transplanted. I believe that in some countries it is even possible to sell a kidney for cash...
In this BBC News Article it states that the possibility of animals (in this case pigs) being used as a source for meeting the shortfall in human organs is ever becoming closer due to advancements in genetic science, mainly our new found abilities to switch off certain genes thereby allowing for a greater chance of our bodys not rejecting these organs.
This technique of using animal organs is called "xenotransplantation". Do you think that we should be researching into this? If I, or a family member were in need of a transplant, and the offer of using an animals organ was put on the table, I would not refuse it, I dont think there are many who would if the alternative were death.
In the UK you have the option of carrying a 'Donar Card' with you. Which is a consent form to allowing your organs to be donated to another after you die. Which is a step in the right direction if you dont have qualms about it, or perhaps religious opinions which wont allow for organ transplants. For my money though, the way forward would be a 'No Donar Card'. ie When you die, if you choose not to have your organs donated then carry the card, otherwise in ALL cases your organs will be donated. This would go along way to meeting the demand of organs.
What do you think of the notion of having animal organs keeping you alive? Do you think that there is a possibility of animal virii transfering to humans because of this?
More few more links on the subject :-