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Have a Heart: Xenotransplantation, Nonhuman Death and Human Distress

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An increasing shortage of transplant donor organs currently results in an escalating number of preventable human deaths. Xenotransplantation. the use of animal organs for transplantation into humans, is now heralded as medicine's most viable answer to the urgent and insurmountable human organ scarcity. Although claimed to be a biomedical prerogative, xenotransplantation is a cultural phenomenon - a procedure engaging both the physical and symbolic manipulation of human and nonhuman bodies, thereby transforming corporeality, identity, and culture. Biomedical and scientific discourses about xenografts have obscured issues related to nonhuman animals and also could be distressful to human organ recipients, revealing that the xenograft may not be widely embraced.



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