Pig Hearts Transplanted into Humans

    Photo: NBC

    The Facts

    • NYU Langone Health researchers announced Tue. that two brain-dead patients received pig heart transplants over the last month - a Vietnam veteran from PA and a resident from NY.

    • The experiments, known as xenotransplantation, come after a historic procedure by the University of Maryland earlier this year which saw a pig heart transplanted into a living human. The man later died.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    With a nationwide shortage in organ donations, these pig heart transplants are a successful step on the way to potentially helping hundreds of thousands of people in need of medical attention. While there is a long way to go, this is a promising sign.

    Narrative B

    There are clear ethical issues surrounding the concept of animal organ transplants. These include issues of animal welfare and breeding conditions, the scientific ignorance of the public, and some religious beliefs. Without a complete overhaul in public perceptions of this science, it will be hard for the process to become accepted in modern society.

    Nerd narrative

    There's an 80% chance that any human will live without the assistance of medical life support for at least 100 days after a transplant of a lab-grown organ before 2035, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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