Xenotransplantation research particip... - Kidney Transplant...

Kidney Transplant Patient Support

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Xenotransplantation research participants needed

ab1046 profile image

Hello everyone,

My name is Abigail and I have almost completed my Master’s degree at The University of Exeter in the UK. This year, we were tasked with choosing a dissertation topic and I really wanted to make a difference with my research. I have followed the development of xenotransplantation (animal to human organ or tissue transplants) in the news for the past few years with interest. Reading research papers, I was intrigued by the abundance of medical and scientific literature in comparison to the sparse attention paid to the psycho-social effects of this practice.

I am therefore looking for participants for my study on the psycho-social effects of xenotransplantation. I am specifically interested in how the practice affects identity and selfhood. I am interested in speaking to recipients of any type of xenotransplantation, which include:

1.animal external therapies

2.cellular therapies

3.transplantation of whole organs

Full anonymity will be preserved and I am able to interview by messenger, skype or any other means that are appropriate and convenient for participants. I will not take up too much of your time, and conversations will be relaxed and informal.

Please do not hesitate to make initial contact on here.

Many thanks,


3 Replies

Your perspective is strongly indicative of the way outsiders perceive the situation of patients in need of or receiving transplants of all kinds. That is, because you have never personally experienced the utter and absolute desperation of the patients to escape their predicament without a replacement organ, you have the luxury of wondering about incidental aesthetic effects such as 'how will my consciousness be affected by having part of my body be from another person,' or 'how will I feel being part animal with an animal organ,' etc. But for the patient, the relief of escaping the plight of end-organ failure is so overwhelming and profound that questions such as may seem interesting or important to outsiders fade to insignificance. In my own case, for example, everyone was always saying things to me like 'has your thinking changed after getting a kidney from someone so different from you,' but frankly, I couldn't care less and haven't spent five minutes thinking about it. The only thing that matters to me is that the kidney continues to function. So be careful that your research does not induce patients to respond in ways that are not natural to their perspective outside of a research study which looks for certain answers.

Another suggestion is that you look at records of patient responses in animal-to-human transplants done at the beginning of the twentieth century, when, in the absence of adequate understanding of immunology, doctors in Vienna and Strasbourg grafted pig kidneys onto the arms of patients, only to find that these organs brought some temporary improvement and then 'mysteriously' ceased functioning after a few days. Also, you might want to research the response of Dr. Voronoff's patients in the late nineteenth century to implantation of thin slices of monkey testicles, since these people may have recorded some strange feelings about being 'part monkey.'

ab1046 profile image
ab1046 in reply to Falkenhayn

I sincerely thank you for taking the time to make such a detailed response and I really appreciate your perspective.

I have just had a read of a couple of your posts and it continues to amaze me how strong people can be.

I would be interested in speaking with you. I donated my kidney. How can we connect.

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