Skip to main content

Doctors perform first ever transplant using a pig heart

by Mareyah Bhatti, Jan 19
1 minute read

Earlier this month, doctors performed a heart transplant on a patient using a heart from a pig. The animal had been genetically modified to ensure the organ would not be rejected post-surgery.

man in white dress shirt wearing white goggles

Previously, the only ‘xenotransplantations’ (the act of transplanting animal organs into humans) that had occurred was using kidneys from the same set of GM pigs in two legally dead people – the surgery was a success.

So what?

For some transplant recipients, there are other procedures such as dialysis, which can forego the need for such a risky and novel surgery. Furthermore, the process of ‘using’ animals to benefit humans will certain raise questions about the ethics and morality of the situation.

However, there is no disputing that successful xenotransplantations would have a positive impact for those on long waiting lists. Currently, the procedure is highly experimental and expensive – but could this be the future of transplants? Will we be seeing animals farmed for both food and organs?



by Mareyah Bhatti Spotted 61 signals

Focus areas: Food & nutrition, Climate change, Health

Have you spotted a signal of change?

Register to receive the latest from the Futures Centre.
Sign up

  • 0
  • Share

Join discussion

Related signals

Our use of cookies

We use necessary cookies to make our site work. We'd also like to set optional analytics cookies to help us improve it. We won't set optional cookies unless you enable them. Using this tool will set a cookie on your device to remember your preferences.

For more detailed information about the cookies we use, see our Cookies page.

Necessary cookies

Necessary cookies enable core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility. You may disable these by changing your browser settings, but this may affect how the website functions.

Analytics cookies

We'd like to set Google Analytics cookies to help us to improve our website by collecting and reporting information on how you use it. The cookies collect information in a way that does not directly identify anyone. For more information on how these cookies work, please see our 'Cookies page'.