Posted on November 21, 2012 at 8:42 PM
It all is about the ethics of the creation of non-human animals but with human-derived parts. Should we leave non-human animals alone to go their own way in the evolutionary pathway or should (in some cases, no longer only “can”) we put human cells and human tissues into non-human animals to become subjects for human research or animals from which to recover tissues compatible for use in human patients? The goals of these procedures may be of great benefit to humans but the question is whether “crossing the human/nonhuman species boundary introduces inexorable moral confusion that warrants a restriction to this research on precautionary grounds” (Haber and Benham, American Journal of Bioethics, vol. 12, issue 9, 2012)
The argument for caution is that confusion would occur in how we looked at our existing relationships with non-human animals and in the future our relationships with animals which have been made into part human and part non-human either by some future method of creating a hybrid (through mixing human sperm with animal eggs) or the current potential ability to create a chimera such as placing human brain tissue into a non-human animal’s body. Should or would we treat these creatures differently than how we treat our current animals? Would these animals with part of “us” in them become more “us”? What is your opinion about this real and no longer esoteric philosophical and ethical issue? ..Maurice.
Graphic: Chimera from Google Images and modified by me with ArtRage 3