Informed Consent and Human Rights: Some Regulatory Challenges of Xenotransplantation
Cook, Peta S. (2007) Informed Consent and Human Rights: Some Regulatory Challenges of Xenotransplantation. Social Alternatives, 26(4), pp. 29-34.
In contemporary Western society, technoscience plays an important and influential role. This is not to say that it always brings positive results, as negative outcomes can and do result. The rate of technoscientific change can also stimulate considerable ethical questions and moral dilemmas about the direction of society, and social change in general. In this article, I explore how one particular technoscientific development, xenotransplantation (animal-to-human transplantation), poses significant and often conflicting challenges to traditional conceptions and understandings of informed consent and human rights. While the main focus is placed on Australia, this article also points to the difficulties of State sovereignty in a globalised world. That is to say, the negative consequences of xenotransplantation are not necessarily restricted to geopolitical boundaries, as the decision of one to proceed could potentially affect the many.
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