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Millions of people around the world are put on the waiting list for an organ transplant Sadly some die before they can receive the transplant Why are so many dying The answer is simply because there are not enough organ donors to meet the demand To solve this problem xenotransplantation the transfer of living cells tissues andor organs from species to species was introduces Using pigs or baboons-preferably pigs-as substitutes patients can be given an animal organ instead of waiting for months or years for the right human donor Xenotransplantation confronts the whole of society-not just individuals-with the promise of saving thousands of lives and the possible risk of causing tremendous harm Messina 121 Although xenotransplantation is considered the cure for organ shortages its high cost rejection problems and risk of new diseases hardly make it the smartest move According to Alix Fano It is nave to believe that research in xenotransplantation is being propelled by drug companies desires to alleviate human suffering rather than the promise of billions of dollars in profits from the sale of humanized pig parts and expensive antirejection drugs He believes there are safer and more cost effective ways to solve our problems such as aggressive investment in programs to prevent diseases the passage of presumed consent laws which have increased organ donation rates in several countries and the growing of human tissues to provide a safer course than animals would all help But if no one is willing to try these ideas how will we know if they are a better alternative to xenotransplantation Xenotransplantation is a costly business and because its research is funded by biotechnology industries rather than charities and universities the experiments are unlikely to be abandoned By 2010 five hundred eight thousand pig donors a year will be required a year Pig organ revenues total more than five billion dollars Pharmaceutical companies
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