The world's first "trans-species" heart transplant has taken place. As we're told in the book of Daniel, knowledge is increasing, will our ethical and moral understanding keep up?
[Darris McNeely] Medical science is once again running faster than ethics and morality and other issues of even religion and theology can't keep up with it. As I speak, a man in Baltimore, Maryland, a 56-year-old gentleman who last week received the heart of a pig into his...transplanted into his body, still lives, in what is being called the first successful transplant of a pig's heart into a human being. A trans-species event that has, in a sense, brought a great deal of interest from the medical community to the world with all kinds of implications.
As I think about it, and think about what has already been done where thousands of people are walking around living with heart valves from a pig that have extended their life and saved their lives, and now we see a heart of a pig, and in this case, it was a genetically modified pig's heart. Specially bred, it seems, for this. And the man had to have special permission from the FDA for this to even happen because it hasn't been approved through all the processes of science yet, but it has occurred because he wasn't eligible for a regular, human heart transplant.
And now, of course, there are over 3,000 human heart transplants that take place every year, but there aren't enough hearts, human hearts, for all the people who do need them. And so, if this works, a successful transplant of a pig's heart into a human being, then that opens up possibilities for more and more people's lives being extended as a result. But then it raises a number of other issues and questions that haven't been resolved, that even medically because with a trans-species transplantation comes questions about genetics and even transmission of pig viruses into a person and into humanity if you will. And so, those are questions that have yet to be worked out and resolved as well, as other ethical issues, theological issues, and so on it goes.
We've reached a time, in this case, and in many others, where knowledge indeed is moving very quickly, as I said. It reminds me of what is said in Daniel 12:4 Daniel 12:4But you, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.
American King James Version×, where Daniel is told to shut up the words and seal the book and all the prophecies that he was given in the book of Daniel, to seal them up until the time of the end. And then it says, "Many shall run to and fro and knowledge shall increase."
Well, certainly in our modern world knowledge has increased, and as this incident shows, increasing faster than a lot of other very serious questions can be answered so that everyone can know how to deal with this and how to even form their opinions of what is going on. It is interesting times, and all of us need to be able to frame an answer and a response to that with a Biblical view of the world and what God will tell us about that. But as I say, it's moving quite quickly. A lot to think about there.
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