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XENOTRANSPLANTATION ISSUES

KMShannon kmshannon at aol.com
Thu Aug 24 22:14:11 EST 1995


Has anyone read the Aug. 21st issue of The Scientist?
The front page reads something like this..."As Cross-Species
Transplantation Forges Ahead, Some Researchers Call for Caution"

As a 5th year student in Microbiology and, as a future virologist, I am
very concerned about this course of action in the medical world.

I was very pleased to see that Thomas E. Starzl of the Univ. of Pittsburg
had put a hold on their xenotransplantation program until more science has
been conducted on this area.

I was also very pleased to see a competent virologist, Jonathan S. Allan
of the SW Foundation for Biomed. research, say that cross-species
transplantation could introduce viruses with epidemic potential into the
human population.

But, [now you get to hear my opinion,]
I do not wish to believe that there are MD's out there who would actually
put a baboons liver into Larry Hagman, or a Chimps heart into the child
with heart disease.  That should be against the Hippocratic Oath or
something...(I know,...the Hippocratic Oath does not mention anything
about baboon transplants or using machines to instigate death...)
Back to the point...there are many viri who, if they could think, would
love this new science of cross-species interaction.  The little virion
would be able to jump species and almost pick and choose its hosts.  
And this is just one argument....what ever happened to ethics?

Also, some sociologists might tell you that there are too da*m many people
on the Earth.  How about just letting some die off?  Rather than letting
latent viri (viri in non-human populations) do it for us...  
[You know, when a squirrel becomes sick, the other squirrels gang up on
the sick fellow and either kill him or run him out of their
neighborhood...not that I am suggesting reverse-quarantine or killing the
sick, that was an aside FYI(for your info.)]

I sincerely hope that this messege finds peers of myself (future
virologists) who agree and this xeno-cross-species-nonsense is just a
passing fad on the wannabe cutting edge of medicine.

I welcome dialog on this matter,
Kevin Shannon, The Univ. of Oklahoma                              
  Internet-->KMShannon at aardvark.ucs.uoknor.edu
  AOL---> KMShannon at aol.com

Kevin Shannon
AOL-->KMShannon
Internet-->KSHANNON at aardvark.ucs.uoknor.edu



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