Amid the prevalence of transplants that enable people to live better and longer, several studies reveal that not all body parts may be handed over to others.
According to transplant surgeons, certain body parts may raise concerns not only in terms of compatibility with the receiver but also ethically since these are not generally accepted in the conservative society — and these organs include the human brain, eyes, and testicles.
For Dr. David Nasralla of the University of Oxford, some transplant procedures are beyond the scope of modern medicine since there are nerves that carry messages throughout the body — a thing that cannot always be controlled by external factors.
“The most challenging organ to transplant is anything related to the nervous system, as we do not have effective techniques for nerve growth or regeneration,” he said.
Aside from this, bio-ethicists also say that there is a large possibility that such procedures may result in a patient’s death, especially when it is the whole head that will be transferred to another being.
Meanwhile, Dr. Olivier Bastien of France’s biomedicine agency said that transplants of sensitive body parts also raise the eyebrows of the public.
“A testicle transplant would amount to assisted reproduction in disguise,” he said, adding that a question on who should be considered as a child’s biological father after undergoing such procedure would cause a moral and scientific dilemma.
“The shift away from saving lives to seeking to make them better requires a shift in the ethical thinking that has long formed the foundation of organ transplantation,” said Arthur Caplan and Duncan Purves of the Journal of Medical Ethics.