Animal Organs

Did you know it’s possible to use animal organs in human donations?

What that means is using bits of animals to fix humans when they get poorly!

This might seem like a yucky idea but if we use animals for meat what is the difference?

Lots of humans eat animal meat, which is just “sticking bits of animals inside their bodies” isn’t it? What’s the difference between a pig’s heart and a lovely tasty bit of bacon?

At any one time, there are thousands of humans waiting for transplants. Animal organs could be used to help save human lives.


You could argue that it’s not saving the pig’s life though – and what gives us the right to use animals anyway? There’s also loads of people who choose not to eat animals or use anything made from animals, called vegetarians and vegans.

They might not want a pig’s heart inside them, even if it did save their life! But if they say no to an animal heart do they get a human heart instead?

And where are we getting all these animal organs from? Would we use animals born especially to give their organs away or animals from the wild?

There’s a lot to thing about and it shows that if we don’t think carefully about things then there’s a chance we can get things turning out in a way we don’t want.

It takes a bit of thought to really work out how we can best use the science and technology at our disposal to make sure it’s fair and in the best interests of everyone.

Click here for more bioethical dilemmas!


Nuffield CouncilBene and Mal’s Bioethics series with support from Nuffield Council on Bioethics
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