It’s time to dust off your copy of Mary Shelley’s classic Frankenstein and read it again. And for those with a more academic literary taste, read Paul Ramsey’s Fabricated Man. Reports this am are that Dr. Craig Venter is at the head of a new project. “Work on the world’s first human-made species is well under way at a research complex in Rockville, Md., and scientists in Canada have been quietly conducting experiments to help bring such a creature to life.” Dr. Venter said, “I grew up doing that with cars and clocks and radios and things like that,” Dr. Venter said. “You take them apart to understand them and then you try and see if you can reassemble them.” I suppose my first question for Dr. Venter may be asking him if cars and clocks and radios are morally equivalent to new biological species/beings and people. Tinkering with cars is one thing, but tinkering with people is something of a totally different sort.
- Jennifer Lahl, MA, BSN, RN, is founder and president of The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network. Lahl couples her 25 years of experience as a pediatric critical care nurse, a hospital administrator, and a senior-level nursing manager with a deep passion to speak for those who have no voice. Lahl’s writings have appeared in various publications including Cambridge University Press, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Dallas Morning News, and the American Journal of Bioethics. As a field expert, she is routinely interviewed on radio and television including ABC, CBS, PBS, and NPR. She is also called upon to speak alongside lawmakers and members of the scientific community, even being invited to speak to members of the European Parliament in Brussels to address issues of egg trafficking; she has three times addressed the United Nations during the Commission on the Status of Women on egg and womb trafficking.