Sample Biology Paper on Animal Organs as Transplants in Humans

Profound ethical issues surround Xenotransplantation for both the potential recipients and the society at large. In a study to survey public opinion about an animal transplant, results showed that almost half of the respondents accepted Xenotransplantation, whereas the remaining half either did not accept or have an opinion regarding the issue (Hagelin, 2004). Concerning this, there is the need that animal organs serve in human transplants in case of unavailability of organs.

Why Not Save A Life?

There are two types of Xenotransplantation: concordant xenografting, where transplanting occurs between related species, and discordant xenografting, where transplanting occurs between different species. The severe shortage of human organs for transplantation is the driving force behind xenotransplant research (Michaels, 1997). Previous studies have shown more creditability in concordant xenografting, even though most patients’ survival span was just a few months. Therefore, an animal transplant may act as a bridge as the patient waits to undergo an allotransplant. This scenario means that if a patient is at the edge of dying and urgently needs a transplant, a surgeon can implant an animal organ as the patient awaits an anticipated human organ. Therefore, animal transplant attempts can be justified if; the patient will die rapidly without organ transplantation, or failure of the xenografted organ will not result in the patient’s death.

Conclusion

The advantage of animal transplants is the unlimited number of available donor organs, filling the donor organs’ shortage. As from previous studies, the animal transplant has had its share of challenges due to the potential risk of infection, chronic rejection, and organ functionality. Therefore, pretreatment of the recipient or the donor should be undertaken to enhance acceptance. Necessary clinical tests are also necessary to enhance compatibility, therefore reduce the risk of further complications. Rewards will be enormous if all problems that come with an animal transplant are overcome in the future; continued animal research will contribute towards this success.

 

References

Hagelin, J. (2004, September 29). Public Opinion Surveys About Xenotransplantation, Official Journal Of The International Xenotransplantation Association, 11(6), 551-558.           https//:doi: 10.1111/j.1399-3089.2004.00172.x

Michaels, M. G et al. (1997, December). Distinguishing Baboon Cytomegalovirus from Human Cytomegalovirus. The Journal Of Infectious Diseases, 176, 1476-1483.