Commonwealth Policy Center

A 57-year-old man suffering from life-threatening heart disease received a heart from a genetically-modified pig. This is the first successful transplant of an animal organ into a human body. There’s been a shortage of organ donors, and this led the patient had to decide between a transplanted pig heart or imminent death. He said, “I want to live. I know it’s a shot in the dark, but it’s my last choice.” Of course, human life is precious and worth saving. This is because, unlike animals, we bear God’s image. But there are ethical questions. For starters, should image-bearers utilize organs from animals? After careful and deliberative ethical thinking, the answer may be yes. But questions of this magnitude must be grounded into what God would have us to do, not pragmatics.