What is the future of xenotransplantation after first pig heart transplant patient dies?

Supporters of the surgery say using animal parts will reduce waiting times for organs. But critics warn of bigger and deeper threats, says Jane Dalton

Thursday 10 March 2022 12:11
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<p>David Bennett, pictured with his son, made history when he became the first human to have a pig heart transplant</p>

David Bennett, pictured with his son, made history when he became the first human to have a pig heart transplant

The death of David Bennett, the first person to be given a pig’s heart transplant, is likely to fuel renewed debate about the use of animal body parts in humans.

Mr Bennett lived for two months following the transplant, during which time doctors hoped they had achieved the holy grail of xenotransplantation.

The surgeons at the University of Maryland Medical Center in the US have not given an exact cause of death, saying only that Mr Bennett’s condition had begun deteriorating several days earlier.

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