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Using non-human primates to benefit humans: research and organ transplantation


Emerging biotechnology may soon allow the creation of genetically human organs inside animals, with non-human primates (henceforth simply “primates”) and pigs being the best candidate species. This prospect raises the question of whether creating organs in primates in order to then transplant them into humans would be more (or less) acceptable than using them for research. In this paper, we examine the validity of the purported moral distinction between primates and other animals, and analyze the ethical acceptability of using primates to create organs for human use.

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The authors of this manuscript have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

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Correspondence to David Shaw.

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Shaw, D., Dondorp, W. & de Wert, G. Using non-human primates to benefit humans: research and organ transplantation. Med Health Care and Philos 17, 573–578 (2014).

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  • Primates
  • Research
  • Xenotransplantation
  • Personalized organs
  • IPS cells
  • Chimeras
  • Hybrids
  • Regenerative medicine
  • Stem cells