Reframing the Ethical Issues in Part-Human Animal Research: The Unbearable Ontology of Inexorable Moral Confusion
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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American Journal of Bioethics 12 (9):17-25 (2012)
Research that involves the creation of animals with human-derived parts opens the door to potentially valuable scientific and therapeutic advances, yet invokes unsettling moral questions. Critics and champions alike stand to gain from clear identification and careful consideration of the strongest ethical objections to this research. A prevailing objection argues that crossing the human/nonhuman species boundary introduces inexorable moral confusion (IMC) that warrants a restriction to this research on precautionary grounds. Though this objection may capture the intuitions of many who find this research unsettling, it relies on mistaken views of both biology and moral standing, ultimately distorting the morally relevant facts. We critically examine IMC, identify mistaken essentialist assumptions, and reframe ethical concerns. The upshot is a stronger line of objection that encourages a more inclusive and productive ethical discourse
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Citations of this work BETA
Monika Piotrowska (2014). Transferring Morality to Human–Nonhuman Chimeras. American Journal of Bioethics 14 (2):4-12.
Sarah Chan (2014). Hidden Anthropocentrism and the “Benefit of the Doubt”: Problems With the “Origins” Approach to Moral Status. American Journal of Bioethics 14 (2):18-20.
Monika Piotrowska (2012). Who Are My Parents? Why Assigning Moral Categories to Genealogical Relations Leads to More Confusion. American Journal of Bioethics 12 (9):28-30.
Melinda Abelman, P. Pearl O'Rourke & Kai C. Sonntag (2012). Part-Human Animal Research: The Imperative to Move Beyond a Philosophical Debate. American Journal of Bioethics 12 (9):26-28.
Jason T. Eberl (2012). Ontological Kinds Versus Biological Species. American Journal of Bioethics 12 (9):32-34.
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