While I was in Scotland last week for meetings on human cloning and human commodification, the Scotsman ran a headline, “Scientists set to create human-rabbit hybrid” National Geographic news ran a piece on animal-human hybrids last January which discussed the ethical concerns of produciing chimeras. It is worth reading and following their great links. This notion of chimeras, a mixture of two or more species in one body, has been with us since Greek mythology, which named a monster with a lion’s head, goat’s body, and serpent’s tail, Chimera. But what does it mean for the human future if chimeras are made for art? Like Alba, the flourescent bunny. For healing and treating diseases? Like transplanting pig valves in our hearts. For our curiosity? Because we can. . . Obviously this is a human endeavor since pigs, cows and rabbits aren’t wondering how to mix it up.
- 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.