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    Xenotransplantation – Ask the Rabbi

    Q. What does Judaism say about xenotransplants (introducing parts of animals into humans for health purposes)?

    A. Subject to safeguards, Judaism allows transplants which save human life or increase its quality.

    Using animal organs raises ethical questions relating both to the animal (e.g. isn’t the animal an involuntary donor?) and the human (e.g. isn’t there a danger of introducing animal-origin infections to a human body)? These ethical problems need to be solved.

    However, as the humans are a higher specifies than animals, in principle the use of animal organs can bring benefit to humans.

    If the animal concerned is a pig, the prohibition of pig meat does not apply because the pig is not being eaten.

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