Are Pigs the Future of Organ Transplants? by@saragpinto

Are Pigs the Future of Organ Transplants?

The medical boundaries have been pushed one more time by a man who accepted to receive a pig's organ to survive. So, in this slogging thread, the random channel community got the chance to discuss the possibility of receiving organ transplants from pigs. The community reviewed the news and pondered if this could backfire in any way.
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Sara Pinto

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The search for an innovative medical technique is never-ending. So, the medical boundaries have been pushed one more time with the possibility of receiving organ transplants from pigs.

The news can create some controversy, therefore, we brought the topic to our random channel so the community could discuss it.

This Slogging thread by Sara Pinto, Jack Boreham, Abeer and Mónica Freitas occurred in slogging's official #random channel, and has been edited for readability.

Sara PintoMar 14, 2022, 1:37 PM

Are pigs the future of organ transplants?

Sara PintoMar 14, 2022, 1:37 PM

"The frontiers of organ transplantation have been pushed further than ever before. The first organs taken from genetically engineered pigs have been put into people and the recipient of the first pig heart managed to survive for two months."

Sara PintoMar 14, 2022, 1:38 PM

"Using animal organs in the human body is an old idea, and has ranged from "zest for life" chimpanzee testicle implants to replacement kidneys and hearts taken from our primate relatives. The latter often ended in death soon afterwards. The problem is, our immune system treats the transplanted organ like an infection and attacks."

Sara PintoMar 14, 2022, 1:39 PM

"he focus these days is on pigs, as their organs are roughly the right size and we have centuries of experience farming them."

"But the challenge of hyperacute rejection - keeping organs pink, not black - is the same. You can't just pop down to the farm, choose a pig and transplant its organs. It's taken huge advances in genetic engineering to alter pigs' DNA so their organs are more compatible with our immune systems."

Sara PintoMar 14, 2022, 1:40 PM

Mónica Freitas Jack Boreham Abeer Limarc Ambalina, what are your thoughts on this topic? Do you think pigs' organs are a good option to help human lives? Is this unethical?

Jack BorehamMar 14, 2022, 1:45 PM

Sara Pinto, I don't think it is unethical, to be honest. If the science is there, we should use it. If it can save lives why not?

AbeerMar 16, 2022, 6:46 AM

Mónica Freitas Outside of religious and allergy concerns, if they can make it work, they might as well. Ethically speaking, I’m not sure how they’re harvesting these organs but I’m sure some Animal Rights Activists will find issue with it. I can also see a lot of people being against it because of how bizarre it sounds. I’m sure there are a lot of people that will find the idea of having pig organs not sitting well with them.

Sara PintoMar 22, 2022, 4:09 PM

Jack Boreham, I may be biased on this topic, but how would these animals be bred? Wouldn't they have to go under awful procedures for something experimental? Something isn't sitting right with me

Sara PintoMar 22, 2022, 4:14 PM

Nevertheless, this is a curious topic and could also be a breakthrough to solve some issues

Sara PintoMar 22, 2022, 4:19 PM

Abeer, I may be the animal rights activist since I just said to Jack that something was off for me haha. I understand your point of view, and if they can get the procedure pre-operation and post-operation right, I can see how it could change some lives. Still, there's a lot to go through, and there's a ton of issues, such as the harvesting of the organs as you said, that have to be sorted

Sara PintoMar 22, 2022, 4:21 PM

Here's another article about the subject:

It's an opinion, but still a good way to read about another point of view

Mónica FreitasApr 1, 2022, 1:18 PM

Sara Pinto medically, I'm not sure how well that would work: what are the long term effects?
But it's definitely an option, don't I'm not sure it would be allowed as it takes advantage of animals, for yet another industry.

Sara PintoApr 1, 2022, 6:40 PM

Mónica Freitas, we already have a case, actually. A man agreed to receive a heart transplant from a pig. Overall, the surgery itself was successful, but unfortunately, the man died after two months. So, there are no data on long term effects

Sara PintoApr 1, 2022, 6:43 PM

Mónica Freitas, but the second part of your answer is what has me thinking if this is a good idea. Scientifically, I can see how it is a great mark, and I suppose it could save a lot of people. However, I think this would open another door for mass animal farming, putting them through terrible processes

Mónica FreitasApr 7, 2022, 12:32 PM

Sara Pinto do we know if he died because his body rejected the transplant? Or maybe some unrelated cause?

Mónica FreitasApr 7, 2022, 12:34 PM

Sara Pinto, I think that that would be inevitable. As we would rely on animals for another industry, there could be an increase in mass farming. Though I'm not sure we'd see the effect right away.

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Sara PintoApr 9, 2022, 1:36 PM

Mónica Freitas, the doctors didn't give an exact cause of death. They only said that the man's condition had begun to deteriorate days before

Sara PintoApr 9, 2022, 1:37 PM

Mónica Freitas, yeah, I agree. It would be groundbreaking, but in my opinion, it would definitely backfire

Mónica FreitasApr 11, 2022, 10:07 AM

Sara Pinto that's suspicious because now we don't know if it was related to the transplant or not...

Mónica FreitasApr 11, 2022, 10:08 AM

Sara Pinto I'm right there with you. I saw a piece of news where scientists were checking the possibility of using 3D printing to create organs for transplants. Not entire organs but parts... Maybe that's safer.

Sara PintoApr 11, 2022, 2:30 PM

Mónica Freitas, that's interesting! Maybe safer and more sustainable. I hope they invest in that option, and it works out

Mónica FreitasApr 13, 2022, 2:41 PM

Sara Pinto same here! It would probably be better than using animals. Though I don't know what side effects it could have on pollution or people long term.

Sara PintoApr 14, 2022, 10:46 AM

Mónica Freitas, there's still a lot of research to go through. We have to keep investing in the technology to experiment and find some answers

Mónica FreitasApr 14, 2022, 1:31 PM

Sara Pinto that's true and definitely, there should be more economic support for research. We need that.

Jack BorehamApr 20, 2022, 5:44 PM

This is a classic animal ethical debate as old as time

Mónica FreitasApr 21, 2022, 2:26 PM

Jack Boreham it is but which side is going to win? I'm afraid animals won't have much of a say in their exploitation once again.

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