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The Benefits of Xenotransplantation

How it Works
The Benefits of Xenotransplantation
The Risks Involved
Ethical Issues
Legal Issues
Alternatives to Xenotransplantation


Xenotransplantation can be beneficial in many aspects. Some of the advantages of this procedure include the following:

- the unlimimted supply of organs

- there would be a significalty reduced waiting list for patients waiting for organ donors

- organs can be acquired as soon as they are needed, avoiding the effects of death on the tissue

- guarantee of infection-free donors

The two animals which are prime candidates for xenotransplantation with humans are primates and pigs. Pigs are the more popular species, however, since they are much more populated and are very inexpensive. Millions of pigs are already killed every year to feed people, so there are less ethical issues presented. Pigs are also better organ donors because their organs are much closer in size to organs of humans than most primates.

Diabetes, which is a disease characterized by the lack of insulin production in the body, can possibly be treated by xenotransplantation. The process would involve the transplantation of pancreatic islets which are killed by diabetes. It is said that dead islets can be replaced by living islets and eventually the levels of insulin in the the blood will be restored. The procedure of transplantation of pancreatic islets can also treat diseases such as Huntington's Disease, Parkinson's Disease, and even diminish the effects of strokes.