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Xenotransplantation and its ethics

Nowadays there are a lot of sensitive issues surrounding the animals. Whether humans have rights to experiment with animals, whether humans have rights to kill and abuse them for scientific purposes. Xenotransplantation is a way of organ transplant which uses animal organs instead of human organs. Xenotransplantation can potentially save a lot of people if it is developed to a higher extent.
However the issue of human ethics emerge again. In order to develop the skill of xenotransplantation, humans have to test, kill, and use animals. Some people say that humans should not do that since animals are alive too. If we do not develop xenotransplantation, then is it right to let sick people die due to the lack of donated organs?
What do you guys think?

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    Mar 26 2013: What is more important the life of an animal or a human?
    • Mar 26 2013: If we are honest, the answer depends on the specific animal and the specific human, and the person who decides.

      I suspect the animal would say that it is more important, but the animal never gets to say.
    • Mar 26 2013: Definitely I would say human life is more important than life of an animal. Frankly speaking, does humans have right to test and kill animals for medical purposes?
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        Mar 27 2013: Rights are irrelevant.

        Is it better to have a bunny run free and see the coyote starve to death or to see what might be objectionable to some?
        • Mar 27 2013: Hahaha I love your comments, they are really interesting!
        • Mar 27 2013: None of both yes the bunny may run in freedom yes a coyote can starve but most of all see if there are objectionable ones..

          This proces of the coyote and the bunny is mostly natural selection.. But if we humans use the animals we should sustain the populations and a respectable way anddeal with it humane to keep mother nature most of all happy and to satisfy our needs

          Most of all we must not forget we are dealing with unique lives just like you and me

          And should be respected and do it as humane as possible
    • Apr 3 2013: Important to whom?
      I think that what is most important is the purpose that those lives served. If that was my pet cow Oreo, then I would say that you could go to hell, respectfully. However, if it was a cow born for the very purpose of xenotransplantation, which would be the case here, it hardly seems we should rob the creature of its purpose. And yet, who gets to decide what purpose an animal is born for. I could see it argued that a scientist who produces a clone may decide what the purpose of his creature's life is. This still begs the question of whether or not he was right in doing it, as well as the question as to whether or not other humans have the right to rob him of his cow or its purpose. This matter is extremely complex and I would not want anyone to mistake these remarks as my entire position in this argument, simply a thought.
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        Apr 3 2013: The Planet
        • Apr 3 2013: So would you argue that it is more important for the planet that humans perform cruel acts of mutilation, on a continual basis, on animals completely under our control? Even if they later prove to be emotional, intelligent creatures whom we, in our ignorance and with complete lack of compassion, harvested for organs outside of the natural law for the necessity of food? Not saying I'm am whole-heartedly against you, but it seems too simplistic for my taste, it seems theres more to it that should be considered.
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        Apr 3 2013: No I don't think I would.

        I'm just saying people eat other animals. I have heard that plants also are sentient, where do you draw the line?

        "too simplistic for my taste" (8^(l)
        • Apr 3 2013: There is a difference between the justifiable predation of animals and cloning an animal while genetically tweaking it to grow human organs for the purpose of transplanting the desired organ and killing the animal in question. It is extremely oversimplifying the real issue to relate it to the food chain, which no one could deny is natural.
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        Apr 4 2013: Duly noted, I will try and be more sophisticated in the future
        • Apr 4 2013: I truly hope that I have not offended you sir, I never intended to. I value your opinion and would agree it is an important take to consider. I did, however, want to express my position that this wasn't the real substance of the debate. It seemed it was necessary to separate this issue from the food chain issue, as not only yourself but many posters presented this argument. Thank you for understanding.
  • Mar 27 2013: Cloning humans or animals is the same thing as using the original creature for using for xenotransplantation.

    Even if a person or animal dies and you clone it it still won't have the same way of thinking of the original one. Physically yes they are the same but mentally? They are not they both grew up in different environments and have an unique way of thinking and so you have a clone which is phiscally the same but still a new lifeform nonetheless.

    So if you'll use clones for it its the same as using an normal animal or human for it and taking a unique life from this world

    So they must be treated in the same way matter what investors say or want about the clone since clones will have the same rights as us humans (human clones of course) and animals should be taken care of and fed
    • Mar 27 2013: There have been several successful cases of cloning of animals and those have been a very sensitive issue between religion people and others. Cloning is in God's area since we are playing with God's creatures. In my opinion, human should be allowed to sacrifice other lives for a bigger life.

      I guess use of embryonic stem cells can be also considered together with this case.
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    Mar 26 2013: Interesting.
    On instinct I would say the human life, due to the fact the animals pain would only be monetarily and It can't imagine the future quite like we can.
    And that the sad fact that human ultimate is more important to me than animal utility.
    So the animal suffering isn't as Immense as we would think it would be! And the human would gain something of value.
    But am open to correction!
    • Mar 27 2013: I once had an intense conversation with a man that worked in a slaughter house for a while.

      His job was applying the tool that killed the cattle. He said that after the first one or two, the others were more difficult because they knew what was about to happen. He could see the fear in their faces. He said he had to quit because it was too emotionally stressful.

      I eat meat almost every day, usually beef, and expect to continue to do so. Just want to make sure that we are all dealing with facts.

      As for humans being more important than animals, it would be interesting to get the opinion of the animals.
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        Mar 27 2013: In a sense the animals would obviously say they were more important.
        Maybe I should have added : more important to me.
        Also from all the data I have it suggests that either the cattle were classically conditioned to associate the tool with fear. Not imagine the implications of Tool, that it would end their life. These things are different.
        Also the fact remains that anecdotal evidence is more convincing than statitistical evidence.
        While I admit I could be wrong.
        Or it could have been a placebo on him, and he expected to se the animals in distress, therefore he imagined it.
        Or it could have been that something else was causing the distress of the animals at the time. Or that he could remember it more,because of the availability heuristic.

        These are all facts and possibilities!
        I apologise for my awful grammar.
      • Mar 27 2013: Hi Barry, I also heard about the same thing about cows. Before the cows are going to be slaughtered, you can see them crying. That can prove that animals have intelligence and emotions too just like humans.

        Yes, it would be very interesting if we can communicate with animals and also listen to their point of view. However I think we can also achieve that by putting us in animals' position. If we can imagine that monkeys or cows or any other animals are using us as a medical product or test, how will we feel?
        • Mar 28 2013: It also helps to remember that we are animals.
  • Mar 26 2013: A very interesting topic... And indeed needs an debate to find a right solution..


    First of all we must not forget that animals are alive too and have very real feelingdls like us.

    I think that if we respectfully raise and nurture the animals till the point we can use their organs for xenotransplantation we should have the right to do that in order to save one of our own species...

    Now the important thing is that we dont forget we all live on this planet and along mother nature.. Our ways to pay back the lives is to clean up our mess we are making on this planet and keep all populations of all species in check and not making them extinct...

    Perhaps a better way for man and animal to live side by side...
    • Mar 26 2013: I am glad you think about animals that way. Then what do you think of clones? Cloning animals or humans in order to use them for medical purposes?
  • Mar 26 2013: The animal would be bred for a specific purpose. Do you eat meat? Temple Granden has dealt with that in her work.
    • Mar 26 2013: Whether the animal is bred for a specific purpose or not, is it right to kill and take their organs to use for humans? I mean, animals should have emotions like humans right? So if animals can feel sadness, should we really kill them? I eat meat, I am not a vegetarian and not planning on becoming one. I have no problem with eating animals since it is how nature works. Strong eats the weak. However, I think xenotransplantation is a completely different matter apart from meat eating.
      I would like to save humans from dying by using animal organs but sometimes I wonder if that is a right thing to do...
      • Mar 28 2013: If we are to decide whether what's right or wrong by we I mean (the ones investing in xeno) it will always be wrong...

        Mostly people with a lot of money can use xeno for now but if you see how old an animal can be compared to human aging...

        I would say young people who seriously have a desperate wish to live on I think the xenon would be well used... Since they were saved by an animal that had a good live and was full grown... The person who got the xeno will respect life more... And in that case would have learned a most valuable lesson for the future on how to interact and react to certain things.

        Xeno should be available for the most desperate in need persons and not the rich who feel like getting a xeno even if there are donors available for him...
  • Mar 26 2013: Of course , its' firstly important of the life of human being. That's why God provides humans of a talent of inventing, developing science, healing etc.. that could have improved, developed and changed the world.
    Despite those, we need to know that there must be always a limitation(lack) in our lives as our physical lives are limited .
    I don't think God provides us of everything , so that we need to learn how to satisfy the life of ours.
    Even though we don't develop xenotransplantation, it will be O.K because such technology would be beyond our ability but for God.
    Shall we think over why God create humans different from animals.?
    To just lengthen life is meaningless , but it's important how to live until die regardless of short or long life.
    Meaningful life led by God, even if short, would be much precious than the life lengthened by technology invented.
    I don'y say Give Up , but don't invade the area of God.
    We should thank God for all of life of ours even if lack , insufficient !!
    • Mar 26 2013: Please excuse me if I am wrong. According to what I learned in religion class, animals does not possess intelligence or emotions. I know how in Christianity or different religion says we should not kill others and etc. Since animals are completely different from humans, then is it right to kill them? Since animals doesn't even have souls.
      Sorry if I offended you, just wanted some valuable opinion.
      • Mar 27 2013: You didn't offend me at all ,please feel free! Sorry for my lack of opinion.
        I meant that basically oppose any activity, efforts to develop the technology related on Xenotransplantation. Furthermore, I'd like to say the efforts for the xenotransplantation would be meaningless activity because such activity invade the area of God, being beyond humans' ability.
        Of course, other general scientific development would be recommendable for humans' health and should be !
        I think animals are also precious as humansI. And I believe animals also have a feeling of love, sad, fear, etc. even if inferior to humans. Furthermore, both are absolutely created by God.
        But, God made sure of difference betwee humans and animals, so that there must not be happened Xenotransplanatation !!! Then, it will cause to kill animals uselessly no more !
        As mentioned , the quality of the life is important, not short or long life !!
        • Mar 27 2013: I agree with the fact that life is important no matter what. However sometimes I think humans should be allowed to sacrifice other organisms or even ourselves in order to save a greater life. Enjoyed reading your comments :)