The Council has published a report entitled 'Animal-to-human transplants: the ethics of xenotransplantation' addressing the complex ethical and safety issue, such as:
  • is it ethical to use animals to provide ‘spare parts’ for humans?

  • is it ethical to produce genetically modified pigs containing human genes?

  • how can any animal suffering be minimised?

  • will animal diseases be passed onto human beings?

  • how can early patients be protected?

  • could the NHS afford animal-to-human transplants?

The report gave cautious approval to xenotransplantation, recommending that development of animal-to-human transplants should continue, subject to rigorous regulation. The report called on the Government to establish an Advisory Committee on Xenotransplantation to regulate developments. Following a similar conclusion by a Government Inquiry chaired by Professor Ian Kennedy, the UK Xenotransplantation Interim Regulatory Authority (UKXIRA) has since been established.

Find out more about the Council's work on xenotransplantation.