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The ethics of organ transplants and encouraging more live donors

a man is pulled out of an ambulance truck on a stretcher in front of a hospital
Michael Dwyer
Doctors at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston say they have transplanted a genetically modified pig kidney into a 62-year-old patient. The hospital said Thursday, March 21, 2024, it’s the first time a pig kidney has been transplanted into a living person.

News of the first-ever patient to receive a kidney from a genetically modified pig spread around the world. The procedure was a success, and Richard Slayman was discharged from the hospital. But the case has raised many questions about whether this is the answer to an organ shortage and whether it’s ethical.

As around 100,000 Americans wait on transplant lists, there’s a race to improve the transplant process. On Cincinnati Edition, we discuss the latest science and examine the ethical questions. We’ll also hear how a local program is raising awareness about living kidney donation and helping families identify donors.


  • Michael Gusmano, Ph.D., professor of health policy, Lehigh University
  • Lenny Bernstein, former reporter, The Washington Post
  • Darci Gibson, founder and president, Off The List, Inc.
  • Tricia Monson, clinical manager for transplants, The Christ Hospital Health Network

Ways to listen to this show:

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  • Catch the replay on 91.7 WVXU and 88.5 WMUB at 8 p.m. ET M-F.
  • Listen on-demand. Audio for this segment will be uploaded to this page by 4 p.m. ET., or subscribe to our podcast.
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