|Purported Human-Pig Chimera|
(Andrew Taylor, Wikimedia Commons)
“We all know interspecies romance is weird.”
"I did not know yet how far they were from the human heritage I ascribed to them."
H.G. Welles, The Island of Dr. Moreau
"Man," I cried, "how ignorant art thou in thy pride of wisdom!"
Mary W. Shelley, Frankenstein, the Modern Prometheus.
"Human-pig HYBRID? Scientists hoping to create part man, part pig organs"What a host of ethical questions this raises! I won't attempt to answer them in this short post.
The Church has set its position on therapeutic genetic modification very clearly. See a previous post, Designer Babies via CRISPR / Cas9. Genetic modification is permissible if it is done to cure a specific malfunction or disease. The quote below from the Charter for Health Care Workers, Pontifical Council for Pastoral Assistance says it all:
"No social or scientific usefulness and no ideological purpose could ever justify an intervention on the human genome unless it be therapeutic, that is its finality must be the natural development of the human being."And what should a faithful Catholic say about intervention on an animal genome? Where to draw the line? Is growing a human organ in an animal, by whatever means, ethically permissible? Or the converse, putting an animal organ into a human?
ABOUT CHIMERASHybrids between different animal species are termed "chimeras", from the ancient Greek legend of Bellerophon and the Chimera, a fire-breathing three-headed monster. Reading a less sensational account
|Chimera, Palac Czapskich, Krakow|
ON THE ETHICS OF MAKING CHIMERAS
On the other hand, once you start to make a hybrid will you end up, like Dr. Moreau (see the quote above), creating animals that are attempting to be human?