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Xenotransplantation: An Ethical Evaluation Giving Special Consideration to Animal Ethical Aspects

Applicant Arz de Falco Andrea
Number 58607
Funding scheme NRP 46 Implants and Transplants
Research institution Interdisziplinäres Institut für Ethik und Menschenrechte Universität Freiburg
Institution of higher education University of Fribourg - FR
Main discipline Religious studies, Theology
Start/End 01.08.2000 - 31.08.2003
Approved amount 219'296.85
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All Disciplines (2)

Religious studies, Theology
Molecular Biology

Lay Summary (English)

Lay summary
An Ethical Evaluation Giving Special Consideration to Animal Ethical Aspects

The systematic investigation of xenotransplantation from the point of view of animal, social and medical ethics has so far not got beyond an outline of some relevant aspects. Thus, the two fundamental aspects, whether it is acceptable and feasible to make up for the shortage of human organs by providing animal organs, and, secondly, whether the use of animal organs can be justified from the point of view of animal ethics. Existing guidelines, positions and recommendations concentrate on the specific problem of transmission of zoonoses and rarely deal with other fundamental issues.

The project aims at broadening the ongoing discussion about the concept of dignity of the ceature with respect of a revision of the scope of this concept in connection with breeding and using transgenic animals, in particular as organ donors.

This project will consider ethical - especially animal ethical - problems in the context of xenotransplantation.
(i) The study will address the question of whether a different ethical evaluation for production and for housing conditions of transgenic animals used as organ donors and those used for experimentation in biomedical research is admissible. Instructive answers shall be found through "field research", qualitative interviews, questinnaires and a close collaboration with ethicists and laboratory animal specialists.
(ii) A content analysis of the contributions concering the use of primates as organ donors and laboratory animals in pre-clinical research will allow a systematization and evaluation of the arguments and will make a contribution to the clarification of controversial questions.
(iii) A third complex of problems concerns the topic of cellular xenotransplants (as opposed to organ transplants)with special emphasis on questions of different evaluation of neuronal and non-neuronal tissue transplantation and on the ethical evaluation of chimeric tissue use. A systematic evaluation of cellular xenotransplantation from an ethical perspective - taking into account current practice and possible future developments - shall be presented
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

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