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The Future of BioethicsInternational Dialogues$
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Akira Akabayashi

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199682676

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199682676.001.0001

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Primary Topic Article

Primary Topic Article

Why Would It Be Morally Wrong to Create a Human-Animal Chimera?

(p.358) 10.1 Primary Topic Article
The Future of Bioethics

Stuart J. Youngner

Oxford University Press

This exploration of the origin and meaning of moral boundaries in bioethics asks questions such as: by what authority and methodology are boundaries created, identified, and defended; what could motivate one to cross a moral boundary; what could motivate one to protect a moral boundary? Examples of moral boundaries include: human/animal; male/female; life/death; killing/allowing to die; and natural/unnatural. This chapter focuses on species boundaries, particularly the boundary between humans and animals in the creation of chimeras for research purposes. It concludes that in modern, pluralistic society, religious dictates, the so-called “wisdom of repugnance” and simple resistance to change must be taken into account in the political sphere, but have little to offer to a rational discussion and resolution of the issues.

Keywords:   Moral boundaries, the wisdom of repugnance, human/animal chimeras, abomination, disgust

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