Human-animal hybrid embryos conceived in the laboratory - so-called "chimeras" - should be regarded as human and their mothers should be allowed to give birth to them, the Roman Catholic Church said yesterday.
Under draft Government legislation to be debated by Parliament later this year, scientists will be given permission for the first time to create such embryos for research as long as they destroy them within two weeks.
But the Catholic bishops of England and Wales, in a submission to the Parliamentary joint committee scrutinising the draft legislation, said that the genetic mothers of "chimeras" should be able to raise them as their own children if they wished.
The bishops said that they did not see why these "interspecies" embryos should be treated any differently than others.
What a mess. This is what happens when technology gets ahead of ethics.
I've got mixed feelings on this, but clearly there is a genetic definition of a human being, and these chimera do not meet that definition. But maybe we need to ask ourselves whether or not this sort of Frankenstein science is the way we want to go. And if it is, we as a society need to realize that clusters of cells no bigger than a pinhead are NOT equal to a living human being. Until we're ready to come to a consensus on that, we will continue to get bizarre declarations such as this.
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