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The Swiss Technology Assessment Project on Xenotransplantation

: Bellucci, S.; Bondolfi, A.; Hüsing, B.; Rüegsegger, A.


Fishman, J.; Sachs, D.; Shaikh, R.:
Xenotransplantation: Scientific Frontiers and Public Policy
New York: The New York Academy of Sciences, 1998 (Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 862)
ISBN: 1-57331-187-1
Conference "Transplantation Biotechnology" <1998, New York/NY>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer ISI ()

The Swiss Technology Assessment (TA) project on xenotransplantation is intended to study the opportunities and risks of this technique, recognizing the input of those involved in and those affected by it. This also implies taking into account the clinicoscientific, social, ethical, economic, and legal aspects. The situation in Switzerland is analyzed in depth, with reference to the acceptance, ethics, and existing federal legislation pertinent to xenotransplantation. Apart from consultation with experts from various specialized areas, a written questionnaire was sent to more than 100 organizations, institutions, companies, and individuals. The resulting assessment range from clear approval to complete rejection of the notion of xenotransplantation. Even acceptance was granted only on condition that criteria such as security (minimum risk of infection) and respect for human dignity and animal protection issues are respected. Such criteria are generally accepted, but if concrete conclusions must be drawn, we must recongnize that opinions vary in today's discussions on ethics in Switzerland. It is commonly agreed that animals are not objects, but their precis status is not clear. Moreover, there are no patented ethical "recipes" for handling risks.