The use of nonhuman animals in research has long been a source of bioethical and scientific debate. We consider the oversight and use of nonhuman animals in chimeric research. We conducted interviews with twelve members of embryonic stem cell research oversight committees, nine members of institutional animal care and use committees, and fourteen scientists involved in human–nonhuman-animal chimeric research in different areas of the United States. Interviews addressed animal welfare and conceptual issues associated with moral status and humanization of nonhuman animals that contain human cells. Our findings suggest that concepts of enhanced moral status and consciousness are not very useful in human–nonhuman-animal chimeric research in part because their meanings are not easily defined, which presents challenges to applying the concepts in research. Instead, scientists and oversight committee members we interviewed seemed to rely on standard assessments of changes in animal welfare when focusing on the ethics of human-animal chimeric research.
Hastings Center Report
National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health (NIH)
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Marshall, Patricia, Craig, Kaitlynn P., and Hyun, Insoo, “ Moral Status and the Oversight of Research Involving Chimeric Animals,” in Creating Chimeric Animals: Seeking Clarity on Ethics and Oversight, ed. Karen J. Maschke et al., special report, Hastings Center Report 52, no. 6 (2022): S41– S45. DOI: 10.1002/hast.1431