Jewish Ethics in Medicine

The Jewish Perspectives on Xenotransplantation

John D. Loike and Moshe Krupka


Xenotransplantation represents a viable solution to meet the great need to provide organ donors at a time when there are not enough human organ donors. A lot of clinical studies have focused on using genetically engineered pigs as the prime source for organ transplantation. However, several religions, such as Judaism and Islam, have restrictions on the use of pigs for food or in business. In this article, we review the Jewish perspectives on xenotransplantation. Overall, the preservation of human life trumps most of the potential religious concerns associated with xenotransplantation. However, there are religious nuances related to xenotransplantation that are highlighted here, and that must be addressed by rabbinical scholars.

Rambam Maimonides Med J 2023;14(4):e0024