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New authority to monitor xenotransplantation experiments

BMJ 1997; 314 doi: (Published 25 January 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:247
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. BMJ

    The British government is to set up a regulatory authority to monitor all research into xeno-transplantation– the transplantation of animal tissue into humans. Human trials will not be allowed to go ahead until there has been more research into aspects of physiology, immunology, and the risk of infection.

    Pigs would be ethically acceptable as a source material.


    Health secretary Stephen Dorrell accepted the main recommendations of the advisory group on the ethics of xeno-transplantation headed by Ian Kennedy, professor of medical law and ethics at King's College, London. He announced the establishment of the Xenotransplantation Interim Regulatory Authority, which will be chaired by Lord Habgood of Calverton. The authority will regulate developments until there is a suitable opportunity for primary legislation.

    The advisory committee's report Animal Tissue into Humans concluded that xenotransplantation could be ethically acceptable if certain conditions were met. It states that it would not be ethically acceptable to use primates as a source of materials for xenotransplantation, mainly because they would …

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