Thursday, March 23

Pig hearts to brain dead people

Latest milestone: Pig hearts transplanted into newly deceased people

Doctors at NYU Langone Health have taken another step toward making pig organs available for transplant, by successfully implanting pig hearts into two newly deceased people.

Braindead patients can be used to gather information not safely collected on the living and offer doctors an opportunity to practice before implanting gene-edited pig organs into live people. The deceased patients used in the procedures were declared brain dead and their family members donated their bodies to the research.

More than 100,000 people sit on organ transplant lists, hoping for someone else’s tragedy to make a kidney, heart, liver or lungs available for them. Pig parts offer a possible alternative. Bioethicists generally support the idea of ​​xenotransplantation, although animal rights activists say they wouldn’t be needed if more people were organ donors.

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