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In all, the team created 186 later-stage chimeric embryos that survived, says Wu, and “we estimate [each had] about one in 100,000 human cells.”
“Raya is skeptical about the possibility — in any case very far away — of turning animals into organ incubators for humans, but considers that these investigations will be very useful to obtain models in which to study embryonic development and some diseases of people,” El Pais wrote.
A central point of their argument is that crossing species boundaries between humans and animals might conjure up an inexorable moral confusion: Human–animal mixtures, they claim, stand in between two groups with qualitatively different moral status; that is, human beings, enjoying their moral status independent of other people’s wishes and intentions (absolute, full moral status), and animals, whose moral status is at least partly contingent on the wills and attributions of human persons (relative, conditional moral status).
I will not endeavor to elaborate which kinds of HACHs might actually prove problematic in view of the argument I present. Clearly, not all human–animal mixtures are adequate targets of criticism. The prevalent positions in the bioethical debate vary widely with regard to the types of HACHs whose creation and use they regard as objectionable. Similarly, the paradoxical intertwinement of ISAs and GSAs that I try to unfold in this paper will only be conjured up by certain kinds of HACHs. It is not my purpose here to investigate in more detail which HACHs actually have this disturbing effect. This paper is supposed to outline a general structure of arguments, not to anticipate details of their concrete application. Correspondingly, I will restrict myself to formulations like “sufficiently human,” or “relevantly human-like,” in order to address HACHs that stand effectively between human beings and animals and thus may have the antinomical implications I want to carve out.
A closer look reveals that, curiously, moral intuitions concerning relevantly human-like HACHs seem to point in opposite directions. On the one hand, there is a strong presumption that such beings deserve special protection, possibly to a higher degree than unmodified animals, by virtue of their human portions: they should be spared damage and exploitation, and they may even be entitled to an adequate environment and targeted support to allow for a proper development of their respective capabilities. On the other hand, the idea of such beings arouses serious feelings of rejection, suggesting that they would establish something utterly wrong in the natural and/or social order: they should not exist, thus not be created in the first place, and if they come into being they should preferably be terminated, ideally at some early point in their development.
From him my eyes travelled to his three men; and a strange crew they were. I saw only their faces, yet there was something in their faces—I knew not what—that gave me a queer spasm of disgust. I looked steadily at them, and the impression did not pass, though I failed to see what had occasioned it. They seemed to me then to be brown men; but their limbs were oddly swathed in some thin, dirty, white stuff down even to the fingers and feet: I have never seen men so wrapped up before, and women so only in the East. They wore turbans too, and thereunder peered out their elfin faces at me,—faces with protruding lower-jaws and bright eyes. They had lank black hair, almost like horsehair, and seemed as they sat to exceed in stature any race of men I have seen. The white-haired man, who I knew was a good six feet in height, sat a head below any one of the three. I found afterwards that really none were taller than myself; but their bodies were abnormally long, and the thigh-part of the leg short and curiously twisted. At any rate, they were an amazingly ugly gang, and over the heads of them under the forward lug peered the black face of the man whose eyes were luminous in the dark. As I stared at them, they met my gaze; and then first one and then another turned away from my direct stare, and looked at me in an odd, furtive manner. It occurred to me that I was perhaps annoying them, and I turned my attention to the island we were approaching.
originally posted by: BuckyWunderlick
To me, the mere thought of creating beings for the purpose of harvesting their organs for our own benefit is frightening. But it’s another sign of man’s hubris.
originally posted by: NoClue
a reply to: schuyler
If ethics is no problem, why go through the hustle to breed chimeras for organs? Breed humans...
originally posted by Phage: We breed animals to eat, using hybridization. Is that not the same thing?