Tag: livers

Bioethics News

Gene Editing Spurs Hope for Transplanting Pig Organs Into Humans

August 11, 2017

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The experiments, reported on Thursday in the journal Science, may make it possible one day to transplant livers, hearts and other organs from pigs into humans, a hope that experts had all but given up.

If pig organs were shown to be safe and effective, “they could be a real game changer,” said Dr. David Klassen, chief medical officer at the United Network for Organ Sharing, a private, nonprofit organization that manages the nation’s transplant system.

There were 33,600 organ transplants last year, and 116,800 patients on waiting lists, according to Dr. Klassen, who was not involved in the new study. “There’s a big gap between organ supply and organ demand,” he said.

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The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics Blogs

Debate Reponse: Charlie Gard, Interests and Justice – an alternative view

Dominic Wilkinson

Responding to Julian Savulescu

The sad and difficult case of Charlie Gard, which featured in the media last week, is the latest in a series of High Court and Family court cases when parents and doctors have disagreed about medical treatment for a child. Doctors regard the treatment as “futile” or “potentially inappropriate”. Parents, in contrast, want treatment to continue, perhaps in the hope that the child’s condition will improve. In the Charlie Gard case, the judge, Justice Francis, rejected Charlie’s parents’ request for him to travel to the US for an experimental medical treatment. He ruled that life-sustaining treatment could be withdrawn, and Charlie allowed to die.

Two reasons

As Julian Savulescu argues,there are two different ethical reasons for health professionals to refuse to provide requested medical treatment for a child. The first of these is based on concern for the best interests of the patient. Treatment should not be provided if it would harm the child. The second reason is on the basis of distributive justice. In a public health system with limited resources, providing expensive or scarce treatment would potentially harm other patients since it would mean that those other patients would be denied access to treatment.

The importance of resources

When doctors and the courts consider cases of ostensibly “futile” treatment, they often focus exclusively on best interests. That is understandable, since the prevailing ethical and legal frameworks largely ignore the question of limited resources. The courts have no mechanism, statute or precedent, to allow them to assess whether or not a treatment would be too expensive or of too little benefit to provide it.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics Blogs

Debate Reponse: Charlie Gard, Interests and Justice – an alternative view

Dominic Wilkinson

Responding to Julian Savulescu

The sad and difficult case of Charlie Gard, which featured in the media last week, is the latest in a series of High Court and Family court cases when parents and doctors have disagreed about medical treatment for a child. Doctors regard the treatment as “futile” or “potentially inappropriate”. Parents, in contrast, want treatment to continue, perhaps in the hope that the child’s condition will improve. In the Charlie Gard case, the judge, Justice Francis, rejected Charlie’s parents’ request for him to travel to the US for an experimental medical treatment. He ruled that life-sustaining treatment could be withdrawn, and Charlie allowed to die.

Two reasons

As Julian Savulescu argues,there are two different ethical reasons for health professionals to refuse to provide requested medical treatment for a child. The first of these is based on concern for the best interests of the patient. Treatment should not be provided if it would harm the child. The second reason is on the basis of distributive justice. In a public health system with limited resources, providing expensive or scarce treatment would potentially harm other patients since it would mean that those other patients would be denied access to treatment.

The importance of resources

When doctors and the courts consider cases of ostensibly “futile” treatment, they often focus exclusively on best interests. That is understandable, since the prevailing ethical and legal frameworks largely ignore the question of limited resources. The courts have no mechanism, statute or precedent, to allow them to assess whether or not a treatment would be too expensive or of too little benefit to provide it.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics News

The Truth about Organ Transportation in India

February 27, 2017

(Yahoo! News) – At least nine hearts and two livers could not reach needy patients in time last year in different parts of the country, even as lakhs of people wait at top hospitals for life-saving transplants amid acute shortage of donors. Experts point to the lack of a robust system to transport organs to super-speciality hospitals in quick time. The National Organ & Tissue Transplant Organisation (NOTTO), the country’s apex organ donation agency, is now framing a proposal to airlift cadaver organs and will send a report to the Union health ministry.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics News

Yet Another Sucessful Face Transplant Has Been Made

Face transplants are slowly becoming an everyday surgery in the world. Just this past August, Dr. Eduardo Rodríguez performed one. In a 26-hour operation, the most extensive face transplant operation to date, the plastic surgeon and his team removed the face and scalp of a young victim of a fatal accident and successfully grafted the tissue onto the head of Patrick Hardison, a firefighter who had been horribly burned in a fire. The operation took place at NYU Langone Medical Center.

Organ transplantation has been around for a couple of decades. Since its inception in 1954, when surgeons at Boston’s Brigham Hospital transplanted a kidney, clinicians have been in a race to make transplants about pretty much everything: hands, uteruses, penises, livers, arms, and now faces. Dr. Rodriguez wishes face transplantations to be accessible for the needy. Nonetheless, issues of costs –this last operation cost $1 million– and also encouraging donations to come into play.

Read the article here.

Other Posts


Yet Another Sucessful Face Transplant Has Been Made





2016-11-05T18:56:50+00:00

  • Kris Chung has become part of Binh and Phuoc Wagner’s lives after he donated part of his liver to Binh. Phuoc got her adopted dad’s liver.

Organs for the rich and cute: Should patients campaign for their own donors?





2016-10-28T20:53:21+00:00


The Resurrection Project, New Scientist Cover Story





2016-10-15T19:16:49+00:00


Participant Testimonials Manhattan Summer School Program, July 11 – 22, 2016





2016-10-22T15:40:36+00:00

The post Yet Another Sucessful Face Transplant Has Been Made appeared first on Global Bioethics Initiative (GBI).

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics News

The Most Extensive Face Transplant Performed by Surgeons at NYU Langone Medical Center

Face transplants are slowly becoming an everyday surgery in the world. Just this past August, Dr. Eduardo Rodríguez performed one. In a 26-hour operation, the most extensive face transplant operation to date, the plastic surgeon and his team removed the face and scalp of a young victim of a fatal accident and successfully grafted the tissue onto the head of Patrick Hardison, a firefighter who had been horribly burned in a fire. The operation took place at NYU Langone Medical Center.

Organ transplantation has been around for a couple of decades. Since its inception in 1954, when surgeons at Boston’s Brigham Hospital transplanted a kidney, clinicians have been in a race to make transplants about pretty much everything: hands, uteruses, penises, livers, arms, and now faces. Dr. Rodriguez wishes face transplantations to be accessible for the needy. Nonetheless, issues of costs –this last operation cost $1 million– and also encouraging donations to come into play.

Read the article here.

Other Posts


The Most Extensive Face Transplant Performed by Surgeons at NYU Langone Medical Center





2016-11-06T14:40:16+00:00

  • Kris Chung has become part of Binh and Phuoc Wagner’s lives after he donated part of his liver to Binh. Phuoc got her adopted dad’s liver.

Organs for the rich and cute: Should patients campaign for their own donors?





2016-10-28T20:53:21+00:00


The Resurrection Project, New Scientist Cover Story





2016-10-15T19:16:49+00:00


Participant Testimonials Manhattan Summer School Program, July 11 – 22, 2016





2016-10-22T15:40:36+00:00

The post The Most Extensive Face Transplant Performed by Surgeons at NYU Langone Medical Center appeared first on Global Bioethics Initiative (GBI).

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics News

Organ Donations Spike In The Wake Of The Opioid Epidemic

It’s not clear why. Overdose death rates are high in New England, but not the highest in the country. Glazier says the 12 transplant centers in that region may be more aggressive about finding a match for patients with failing hearts, livers or kidneys

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics Blogs

Kidneys and Livers, Made to Order?

By Seán Finan Last week, Organovo might just have revolutionised the pharmaceutical industry. The San Diego-based company specialises in producing structures that mimic the behaviours and functions of human tissue, using 3D bioprinting. They announced last week that they were … Continue reading

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics News

Functional Liver Tissue Grown from Adult Stem, Progenitor Cells

August 31, 2016

(UPI) – Many end-stage liver disease patients die because of a shortage of donor organs, and those who do receive livers have challenging paths because of immunosuppressive drugs, but researchers may have found an effective method for growing new liver to circumvent both issues. Researchers at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles generated functional human and mouse tissue-engineered liver from adult stem and progenitor cells, according to a study published in the journal Stem Cells Translational Medicine.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics News

Healthy Livers Grown from Rejected Donor Organs in Transplant Breakthrough

July 22, 2016

(The Telegraph) -Healthy livers are being grown from rejected donor organs after British scientists discovered how to combat diseased tissue. Researchers at the Royal Free in London have shown it is possible to strip away the damaged parts of donor livers and use the underlying structure as natural scaffold to rebuild a working organ. The team are hoping that in the future stem cells from a transplant patient can be taken and used on the scaffold to grow a new liver which would not be rejected by the body.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.