Franklin Hoke's article on Thomas Starzl's bold experiment in xenotransplantation (The Scientist, Sept. 28, 1992, page 1) is one of the most thoroughly researched I've found in a scientific journal. And yet it completely omits the fact that the subject of Starzl's experiment, a 35-year-old unidentified male, was HIV positive. Such an omission cannot have been unintentional. How does one specifically delineate the effects of drugs upon the immune system while conveniently ignoring the fact that this particular immune system was compromised even before the experiment began?

Also, I think the article gave short shrift to Ingrid Newkirk's primary thesis, that is, how many more humans could have been helped with the monies spent for this debacle? If I accept published figures, it costs about $400 to provide prenatal care for expectant mothers. The Starzl experiment cost nearly $175,000, of which the patient paid not a dime. Well over 400...

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