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One of the leading causes of death is organ failure, that is, when one or other of the organs that run the machine we call the body gives out.
However, whereas with a machine, spare parts can usually replace faulty parts, in the case of humans the supply of these is limited as it is dependent on organs being obtained from living or dead donors. Due to the limitations of supply, increasing attention is being paid to alternative schemes for obtaining organs.
One of these possibilities is xenotransplantation: using organs from animals. In this book, the authors examine the legal and ethical issues surrounding xenotransplantation and consider the implications for the future.
As they point out, xenotransplantation represents a major deviation from standard medical practice and the possibility of transplantation of large segments of tissue, or whole organs, from animals into humans poses an entirely novel set of considerations - ethical, legal and scientific - which is necessary to evaluate and understand.