Should we treat human-pig chimeras as people?

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis.

Scientists in the United States are creating so-called ‘human-pig chimeras’ which will be capable of growing the much-needed organs.

A chimera is a genetic mix…It is not a pig with a human pancreas inserted into it – it is a human-animal chimera, whose pancreas resembles a human’s, and whose other organs are a blend of pig and human[.]


How should we respond to chimeras when we are uncertain of their moral status? At present, chimeras created in laboratories are destroyed as embryos. But in order to harvest organs, full gestation would be needed. When that happens, do the human-animal chimeras have a moral right to continued existence?

In the absence of conclusive research on these questions, any such chimera should be accorded the highest moral status consistent with its likely nature. If there is a chance a new lifeform could experience pain or might not be able to interact socially, and we don’t know, it should be treated as if it does experience pain and will have problems of social adaptation.

Read full, original post: Should a human-pig chimera be treated as a person?

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