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[ROME] The Pontifical Academy for Life in the Vatican has announced that it does not object to the transplantation of animal organs into humans.

It argues that because humans enjoy a ‘unique and superior dignity’, and God has placed non-human creatures at the service of people, the sacrifice of animals is justified as long as there will be a “relevant benefit for humans”.

The surprise announcement may spur xenotransplantation research but conflicts with the views of several groups who want such research to be banned while ethical issues and the hazards of cross-species infection are debated.

Link to full Nature article

Reference: Nature 413, 445 (2001)