02 Sep Your Voice is Needed on Human-Animal Research
Last September the NIH abruptly suspended support of chimera research while they reviewed the ethical implications. The agency itself expressed concern that “the animals’ cognitive state could be altered if they ended up with human brain cells.”Now they are ready to move forward – complete with public funding.“This means that, for the first time, the Federal government will begin spending taxpayer dollars on the creation and manipulation of new beings whose very existence blurs the line between humans and non-human animals.”
This is not about currently accepted practices such as using a pig’s heart valve to repair a human heart, or growing a human tumor in mice to study cancer. This is about harvesting embryonic stem cells from abortions, and injecting them into the early embryos of pigs or sheep.
Even the researchers don’t know how much the resulting being will have human status or characteristics. For example, one chimera researcher stated, “What if the embryo that develops is mostly human? It’s something that we don’t expect, but no one has done this experiment, so we can’t rule it out.”
Dr. Stuart Newman, a biologist from New York Medical College called this animal-human experimentation “a Pandora’s Box. . . You’re getting into unsettling ground that I think is damaging to our sense of humanity.”
The NIH has invited Public Comment on this subject. Please take a moment to express your opposition to publicly funded chimera research. The deadline for comments is midnight on Tuesday September 6, so please act soon!
• Go to the NIH website, enter your name, write your concerns in the large grey text boxes.
• Use your own words or copy and paste the statement below.
• Scroll all the way down, enter the 3-digit number, and click “submit.”
• Comments may be submitted electronically or by mail.
• You can also email inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you so much for taking a few moments to express your concern over federal funding of chimera research.
Statement opposing taxpayer-funded chimera research:
I strongly object to the NIH’s proposal to rescind its moratorium on funding of research involving human-animal chimeras. I do not want my tax dollars being used for unethical research involving the creation and manipulation of part-human, part-animal beings whose very existence blurs the line between humans and non-human animals. This proposed research raises all the ethical problems of human embryonic stem cell research in general and serious additional problems related to the creation of human-animal beings with partly or substantially human brains and/or human gametes. Please maintain the current moratorium on funding research involving the creation and manipulation of human-animal chimeras.