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A Legal Perspective on Humanity, Personhood, and Species Boundaries


Linda MacDonald Glenn


American Journal of Bioethics 3.3 (2003) 27-28

June 10, 2003

While debates about the morality of therapeutic versus reproductive cloning or whether human beings should be genetically enhanced are currently in vogue, Jason Scott Robert and Françoise Baylis (2003) are correct in noting that little is being said about chimeras and the creation of new species. As I have previously written (Glenn 2003), further advances in the blending of nonhuman animal and human embryonic tissue could result, intentionally or not, in chimeric entities possessing degrees of intelligence or sentience never before seen in nonhuman animals. These mix’n'match creations could impact the next phase of our evolution but most certainly will challenge our concepts of what it means to be human and what it means to be a “person.” How might these new creations fit within the context of historical ethical and legal analysis?


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