Survey results of transplant patients' attitudes on xenografting

Psychosomatics. 1998 Jul-Aug;39(4):379-83. doi: 10.1016/S0033-3182(98)71327-1.


For centuries, many cultures have described mythical creatures with bodies that combined human and animal features, often the result of violating taboos. This study attempted to investigate the beliefs of transplant patients about xenografting. A survey was given to 100 patients ranging in age from 17 to 74 years old, with 65 men and 35 women, including 72 whites, 18 Hispanics, 5 African Americans, and 4 Asian Americans. The subjects included liver, heart, kidney, lung, and multi-organ transplant patients. The patients were not aware of plans for xenografting at the center under study. Eighty patients agreed with xenografting in an emergency situation. Ten subjects replied, "under no circumstances." Ninety percent believed animal research has advanced medical science. In descending order, the patients preferred human (96%), monkey (44%), mechanical (43%), pig (42%), or dog (34%) organs. Twenty-four patients thought a xenograft would change their appearance, personality, or eating or sexual habits. Twenty patients believed animals have souls. The patients also documented any ethical concerns about xenografting.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Animal Rights
  • Animals
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Dogs
  • Ethics, Medical
  • Female
  • Haplorhini
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Personality Inventory
  • Transplantation, Heterologous / psychology*