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Exploring the Ethics of Organ Farming & Interspecies Chimera. An Overview.

Exploring the Ethics of Organ Farming & Interspecies Chimera. An Overview.

        An attempt has been made in this overview to examine the ethical issues surrounding human-animal chimeras and their use in the production of organs for transplantation.

        Currently, there is a prodigious backlog of transplants in the United States.

·    The median wait time for an organ transplant is almost 5 years, and about 20 people die waiting on the transplant list every day.

o  This crisis has necessitated the development of new strategies to acquire organs for transplantation.

        Among these advances is the prospect of growing a custom organ for a recipient using chimeras.

         Chimeras are organisms made up of two genetically distinct types of cells.

         Chimerization can occur within a single species or between two different species.

·    The latter type has garnered interest among scientists as a possible method for generating organs suitable for human transplantation.

       The proposed strategy is to create a chimera from a non-human animal embryo, usually a:

·    pig, and

·    human stem cells.

        Eventually, after the chimera reaches adulthood, the stem cell donor will receive a transplant with a new, humanoid organ from the chimera.

        Naturally, crossing species and sacrificing animal lives for organ farming comes with some ethical baggage, but chimera research has been prominent for several decades and foretells a bright future.

         An effort has been made in this E-Booklet to inculcate medicos in the subject of Chimera Research, particularly how it pertains to organ transplantation, and spark healthy debate surrounding the ethics of this medical advance.

…Dr. H. K. Saboowala.

                  M.B.(Bom) .M.R.S.H.(London).


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