Washington D.C., Nov 26, 2016 / 16:40 pm
After the National Institutes of Health proposed federal funding of projects to possibly create a human-animal hybrid, Catholic ethicists voiced serious moral and legal concerns.
“For if one cannot tell to what extent, if any, the resulting organism may have human status or characteristics, it will be impossible to determine what one's moral obligations may be regarding that organism,” Anthony Picarello and Michael Moses, general counsels for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, wrote in September comments to the National Institutes of Health Office of Science Policy.
A month prior, the NIH proposed federally-funded projects to research human/animal chimeras. The projects would involve injecting embryonic stem cells into animal embryos, with “tremendous potential for disease modeling, drug testing, and perhaps eventual organ transplant,” the NIH proposal stated.
However, it recognized “ethical and animal welfare concerns” and put a temporary funding ban on such research. The NIH said it would accept public comments on the proposal through September 6.