<!DOCTYPE html><HTML lang="en"> <head><meta charset="utf-8"> <title>Savulescu (Julian) - Should a human-pig chimera be treated as a person? (Theo Todman's Book Collection - Paper Abstracts) </title> <link href="../../TheosStyle.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css"><link rel="shortcut icon" href="../../TT_ICO.png" /></head> <BODY> <CENTER> <div id="header"><HR><h1>Theo Todman's Web Page - Paper Abstracts</h1><HR></div><A name="Top"></A> <TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950> <tr><th><A HREF = "../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_22/PaperSummary_22211.htm">Should a human-pig chimera be treated as a person?</A></th></tr> <tr><th><A HREF = "../../Authors/S/Author_Savulescu (Julian).htm">Savulescu (Julian)</a></th></tr> <tr><th>Source: Aeon, 14 July, 2016</th></tr> <tr><th>Paper - Abstract</th></tr> </TABLE> </CENTER> <P><CENTER><TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=600><tr><td><A HREF = "../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_22/PaperSummary_22211.htm">Paper Summary</A></td><td><A HREF = "../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_22/PapersToNotes_22211.htm">Notes Citing this Paper</A></td><td><A HREF="#ColourConventions">Text Colour-Conventions</a></td></tr></TABLE></CENTER></P> <hr><P><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><U>Author s Conclusion</U><FONT COLOR = "800080"><ol type="1"><li>Any human-pig chimera should, then, be assessed against the criteria of personhood. This is by no means straightforward. Just to give one example, if synthetic biology creates a network of neurons in vitro, this would raise the question of whether it could become conscious, how we would know if it did, and then the further question of how it should be treated. </li><li>In the absence of conclusive research on these questions, any such chimera should be accorded the highest moral status consistent with its likely nature. <ol type="i"><li>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. </li><li>Likewise, if it could plausibly have higher cognitive functions, it should be treated as if it would have them. </ol></li><li>In considering the new life forms we create, we should err on the side of sympathy and generosity. </li></ol></FONT><BR><U>Notes</U><ol type="1"><li>This paper starts by considering the use of pigs to harvest human organs, using stem cells and a gene-editing technique called CRISPR (see <a name="W3990W"></a><A HREF = "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CRISPR" TARGET = "_top">Link</A>). </li><li>The term  chimera is rather loaded, as it implies a monster  see <a name="W3991W"></a><A HREF = "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chimera_(mythology)" TARGET = "_top">Link</A>  yet the article posits that mules (<a name="W3992W"></a><A HREF = "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mule" TARGET = "_top">Link</A>, the off-spring of a male donkey and a female horse) are chimeras as the parents are of different species with different numbers of chromosomes.</li><li>The neurological angle comes from research into the production of neurons for the treatment of Parkinson s disease. </li><li>I agree with the author s conclusion that  where we have reason to suspect it  we should assume sentience and social needs rather than await proof  could it ever be provided. This applies to non-chimeras as well. However, I doubt this cautious approach should be applied to <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_P22211_1">cultures of neural tissue</A></U><SUB>1</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_P22211_1"></A>. </li><li>See <a name="3"></a>"<A HREF = "../../BookSummaries/BookSummary_01/BookPaperAbstracts/BookPaperAbstracts_1611.htm">Ishiguro (Kazuo) - Never Let Me Go</A>" for the analogous case where human clones are posited as being raised as the source of <a name="1"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_104.htm">transplant</A><SUP>2</SUP> organs. </li><li>As for the article s tendentious title, human-pig chimeras should only be considered persons if they possess (or may reasonably or prudentially be supposed to possess) the <a name="2"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_9.htm">attributes of persons</A><SUP>3</SUP>, not just because they contain human genetic material. </li></ol><hr><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><B>Comment: </B><BR><BR>See <a name="W3989W"></a><A HREF = "https://aeon.co/ideas/should-a-human-pig-chimera-be-treated-as-a-person" TARGET = "_top">Link</A>.<BR><BR><HR><BR><U><B>In-Page Footnotes</U></B><a name="On-Page_Link_P22211_1"></A><BR><BR><U><A HREF="#On-Page_Return_P22211_1"><B>Footnote 1</B></A></U>: <ul type="disc"><li>This claim would take a bit of justification. </li><li>It presupposes that consciousness arises from the appropriate organisation of neural tissue, rather than from individual neurons. Just what would an individual neuron  or an unorganised mass of them  be conscious of? </li></ul><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><HR></P><a name="ColourConventions"></a><p><b>Text Colour Conventions (see <A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1025.htm">disclaimer</a>)</b></p><OL TYPE="1"><LI><FONT COLOR = "0000FF">Blue</FONT>: Text by me; &copy; Theo Todman, 2018</li><LI><FONT COLOR = "800080">Mauve</FONT>: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); &copy; the author(s)</li></OL> <BR><HR><BR><CENTER> <TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950> <TR><TD WIDTH="30%">&copy; Theo Todman, June 2007 - August 2018.</TD> <TD WIDTH="40%">Please address any comments on this page to <A HREF="mailto:theo@theotodman.com">theo@theotodman.com</A>.</TD> <TD WIDTH="30%">File output: <time datetime="2018-08-02T09:49" pubdate>02/08/2018 09:49:07</time> <br><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1010.htm">Website Maintenance Dashboard</A></TD></TR> <TD WIDTH="30%"><A HREF="#Top">Return to Top of this Page</A></TD> <TD WIDTH="40%"><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_11/Notes_1140.htm">Return to Theo Todman's Philosophy Page</A></TD> <TD WIDTH="30%"><A HREF="../../index.htm">Return to Theo Todman's Home Page</A></TD> </TR></TABLE></CENTER><HR> </BODY> </HTML>