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When Pigs Fly?:  Legal and Ethical Issues in the Creation of Chimeras and Cyborgs Linda MacDonald Glenn Stanford Center fo...
Linda MacDonald Glenn, JD, LLM <ul><li>Former Senior Fellow, Institute for Ethics, American Medical Association.* </li></u...
Purposes of Presentation <ul><ul><ul><li>Current developments in Transgenics, the creation of chimeras, and cyborgs </li><...
Part 1 – Current Developments in Transgenics and Chimeras
Flying Pigs?
True or False? <ul><li>Amherst, Massachusetts:   Human cells inserted into cows’ eggs at Advanced Cell Technology to make ...
A.   Amherst, Massachusetts: Human cells were inserted into cows’ eggs at Advanced Cell Technology to make cloned human em...
B.   Seoul, Korea:  Human embryonic cells were inserted into mouse embryos at Maria Biotech resulting in the birth of “hu-...
C .   Bethesda, Maryland:  Human genes were injected into rat embryos at the National Institutes of Mental Health resultin...
D .   Cambridge, England:  Human white blood cells were injected into frog eggs at Cambridge University transforming the h...
How many did you get right? <ul><li>Amherst, Massachusetts:  Human cells inserted into cows’ eggs at Advanced Cell Technol...
Plant – Nonhuman Animal – Human  Interface(s) <ul><li>DNA of human and nonhuman animal  tumor fragments inserted into toba...
Nonhuman Animal – Nonhuman Animal interface <ul><li>“ Spidergoats”: a Canadian biotech company has spliced the genes of sp...
Human – Nonhuman animal interface(s) <ul><li>Gene-Altered Pigs Cloned: Step Lifts Hopes for Transplants in Humans (Washing...
Nonhuman animal – machine interface(s)
Human animal machine interface(s) <ul><li>Computer scientists predict that within the next twenty years neural interfaces ...
The Race to become the first human cyborg <ul><li>Kevin Warwick head of the Cybernetics Department at the University of Re...
Race for cyborgs,cont’d… <ul><li>University of   Toronto professor Steven Mann describes himself as the world’s only full-...
Yorick, FDA kids website <ul><li>Electronic devices and mechanical parts  </li></ul><ul><li>Glass eye, silicon nose, ear, ...
Implications of Creating New Life Forms <ul><li>Further advances in the blending of nonhuman animal and human DNA could re...
Part  2 – Ethical  Definitions
Some Historical Perspectives on Humanity and Personhood   <ul><li>Traditional Western philosophy has assumed that humanity...
Great Chain of Being <ul><li>Humans have held a special place in the Great Chain of Being:  </li></ul>God  Angels  Man ...
The Great Chain of Being also reflects: <ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Traditional Judeo-Christian values </li></ul></ul></ul></u...
Alternate worldviews of humanity <ul><li>Man   Animal </li></ul><ul><li>The Universe  and the Spiritual Realm </li></ul><u...
Would it help to have a Biological Definition? <ul><li>A genetic definition is problematic – even a slight rearrangement i...
Alternate View of Humanity, continued…. <ul><li>Biological species? –Homo Sapiens?  But members of the same genus can inte...
Joseph Fletcher’s 15 Propositions for Personhood <ul><li>1.  minimum intelligence, </li></ul><ul><li>2. self-awareness,  <...
Alternative Views Humanity, continued… <ul><li>Joseph Fletcher: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Cyborgs and Chimeras – no ethica...
Part 3 Legal Implications
Current Legal Spectrum <ul><li>U.S. Supreme Court cases provide a spectrum: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Natural” Persons (e.g. ali...
Property – Personhood Dichotomy in Law <ul><li>Historically, nonhuman animals have been considered “property”,  </li></ul>...
Personhood – Property Dichotomy continued… <ul><li>If historical notions of personhood prevail, we run the risk of denying...
From Property to quasi-persons?  <ul><ul><li>At least three states have had their highest court recognize that companion a...
Legal implications, continued… <ul><li>If transgenic creatures are worthy of moral status and respect, where would these r...
United Nations Resolution <ul><li>Resolution A-RES-37-7, the World Charter for Nature, declares: </li></ul><ul><li>Every f...
One Proposed Statutory Definition <ul><li>The  term &quot;human being&quot; means:  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(i) any entity p...
Proposed definition, continued… <ul><li>the ability to evaluate principles and observations to arrive at reasoned decision...
Proposed definition, continued… <ul><li>(ii) any creature born of the ovum and sperm of parents who are human beings, whet...
Conclusions and Recommendations
The Great Chain of Being will yield to an alternative Pyramid of Being (Moral Paradigm) God    Angels     Humanity      An...
Personhood-Property Continuum Evolves … <ul><li>As different forms of chimeras and cyborgs are created in the technical en...
Personhood-Property Continuum Evolves … <ul><li>At one end of the spectrum, Inanimate Objects that cannot suffer </li></ul...
Property-Personhood Continuum (Proposed Legal Paradigm) Property  (Inanimate Objects) Full Personhood (Attendant rights & ...
For the future: Expect intense cross-disciplinary debate, discussion, as new intelligent life is created through biotechno...
Thank you for attention! <ul><li>For Bibliography and References feel free to contact me at: </li></ul><ul><li>[email_addr...
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  • Transcript of "When Pigs Fly Chimeras Cyborgs Stanford"

    1. 1. When Pigs Fly?: Legal and Ethical Issues in the Creation of Chimeras and Cyborgs Linda MacDonald Glenn Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics Palo Alto September 24, 2003
    2. 2. Linda MacDonald Glenn, JD, LLM <ul><li>Former Senior Fellow, Institute for Ethics, American Medical Association.* </li></ul><ul><li>LL.M. in Biomedical Ethics from McGill University, Montreal, Canada </li></ul><ul><li>Recent publication: Biotechnology at the Margins of Personhood: An Evolving Legal Paradigm in the Journal of Evolution and Technology, Vol. 13, Mar 2003, available at www.jetpress.org </li></ul><ul><li>In a former life, trial lawyer and advocate. </li></ul>
    3. 3. Purposes of Presentation <ul><ul><ul><li>Current developments in Transgenics, the creation of chimeras, and cyborgs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ethical definitions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Legal implications </li></ul></ul></ul>
    4. 4. Part 1 – Current Developments in Transgenics and Chimeras
    5. 5. Flying Pigs?
    6. 6. True or False? <ul><li>Amherst, Massachusetts: Human cells inserted into cows’ eggs at Advanced Cell Technology to make cloned human embryos </li></ul><ul><li>Seoul, Korea: Human embryonic cells inserted into mouse embryos at Maria Biotech resulting in the birth of “hu-mice” having some human genes </li></ul><ul><li>Bethesda, Maryland: Human genes injected into rat embryos at the National Institutes of Mental Health resulting in a colony of intelligent rats </li></ul><ul><li>Cambridge, England: Human white blood cells injected into frog eggs at Cambridge University transforming the human cells into embryo-like cells with stem cell properties </li></ul>
    7. 7. A. Amherst, Massachusetts: Human cells were inserted into cows’ eggs at Advanced Cell Technology to make cloned human embryos TRUE
    8. 8. B. Seoul, Korea: Human embryonic cells were inserted into mouse embryos at Maria Biotech resulting in the birth of “hu-mice” rodents having some human genes TRUE
    9. 9. C . Bethesda, Maryland: Human genes were injected into rat embryos at the National Institutes of Mental Health resulting in a colony of intelligent rats New York: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division, 1971 FALSE
    10. 10. D . Cambridge, England: Human white blood cells were injected into frog eggs at Cambridge University transforming the human cells into embryo-like cells with stem cell properties Frog eggs rejuvenate human cells Nature Science Update July 15, 2003 John Gurdon at Cambridge University injected Xenopus frog eggs with nuclei from adult human white blood cells, “reprogramming” them to behave in a stem cell-like way. TRUE
    11. 11. How many did you get right? <ul><li>Amherst, Massachusetts: Human cells inserted into cows’ eggs at Advanced Cell Technology to make cloned human embryos </li></ul><ul><li>Seoul, Korea: Human embryonic cells inserted into mouse embryos at Maria Biotech resulting in the birth of “hu-mice” having some human genes </li></ul><ul><li>Bethesda, Maryland: Human genes injected into rat embryos at the National Institutes of Mental Health resulting in a colony of intelligent rats </li></ul><ul><li>Cambridge, England: Human white blood cells injected into frog eggs at Cambridge University transforming the human cells into embryo-like cells with stem cell properties </li></ul>TRUE TRUE TRUE NOT YET
    12. 12. Plant – Nonhuman Animal – Human Interface(s) <ul><li>DNA of human and nonhuman animal tumor fragments inserted into tobacco DNA, harvested, potential vaccine for lymphoma extracted (see CropTech and Large Scale Biology ) </li></ul><ul><li>www.grain.org/publications/dec001-en-p.htm </li></ul>
    13. 13. Nonhuman Animal – Nonhuman Animal interface <ul><li>“ Spidergoats”: a Canadian biotech company has spliced the genes of spider’s genome that spin spiderwebs (one of the strongest fibers known to mankind) into the genome of a goat, creating a product called BioSteel ® </li></ul>
    14. 14. Human – Nonhuman animal interface(s) <ul><li>Gene-Altered Pigs Cloned: Step Lifts Hopes for Transplants in Humans (Washington Post, January 3, 2002, E05) </li></ul><ul><li>Human kidneys grown in mice http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/low/health/2595397.stm </li></ul><ul><li>On January 20, 1999, the European Patent Office (EPO) granted a patent (EP 380646) to an AUS company (Amrad) for a method to produce human-animal chimeras. </li></ul><ul><li>But in the USA, June 1999, patent application for “humanzee” by biotech critic Jeremy Rifkin denied by PTO – currently on appeal. </li></ul>
    15. 15. Nonhuman animal – machine interface(s)
    16. 16. Human animal machine interface(s) <ul><li>Computer scientists predict that within the next twenty years neural interfaces will be designed that will not only increase the dynamic range of senses, but will also enhance memory and enable &quot;cyberthink&quot; — invisible communication with others. </li></ul><ul><li>This technology will facilitate consistent and constant access to information when and where it is needed. </li></ul>
    17. 17. The Race to become the first human cyborg <ul><li>Kevin Warwick head of the Cybernetics Department at the University of Reading claims to be the first human guinea pig. ( www. kevinwarwick .com ) </li></ul>
    18. 18. Race for cyborgs,cont’d… <ul><li>University of Toronto professor Steven Mann describes himself as the world’s only full-time cyborg. </li></ul>
    19. 19. Yorick, FDA kids website <ul><li>Electronic devices and mechanical parts </li></ul><ul><li>Glass eye, silicon nose, ear, gel-filled chin, cochlear implant, neural implant </li></ul>
    20. 20. Implications of Creating New Life Forms <ul><li>Further advances in the blending of nonhuman animal and human DNA could result, intentionally or not, in chimeric entities possessing degrees of intelligence or sentience never before seen in nonhuman animals </li></ul><ul><li>Similarly, the blending of biological and cybernetic materials could result in sentience never seen before in machines </li></ul>
    21. 21. Part 2 – Ethical Definitions
    22. 22. Some Historical Perspectives on Humanity and Personhood <ul><li>Traditional Western philosophy has assumed that humanity is a necessary precondition to personhood. (e.g. Great Chain of Being) </li></ul><ul><li>Alternate views </li></ul><ul><li>But, what does it mean to be “human?” </li></ul>
    23. 23. Great Chain of Being <ul><li>Humans have held a special place in the Great Chain of Being: </li></ul>God  Angels  Man  Animals  Plants  Earth
    24. 24. The Great Chain of Being also reflects: <ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Traditional Judeo-Christian values </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Kantian secular notion of the rational man as reigning </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Views of the Earth as the Center of the Universe (pre-Galileo and Copernicus) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    25. 25. Alternate worldviews of humanity <ul><li>Man Animal </li></ul><ul><li>The Universe and the Spiritual Realm </li></ul><ul><li>Earth Plants </li></ul><ul><li>The Circle of Interdependence: this perspective reflects the non-hierarchical interdependent relationship between man and the earth and its inhabitants </li></ul>
    26. 26. Would it help to have a Biological Definition? <ul><li>A genetic definition is problematic – even a slight rearrangement in genes can result in an entirely different creature </li></ul><ul><li>What about a species definition? But which species concept? Morphological? Typological? – Darwin argued that species are artificial constructs and not “real” entities in nature </li></ul>
    27. 27. Alternate View of Humanity, continued…. <ul><li>Biological species? –Homo Sapiens? But members of the same genus can interbreed if the correct number of chromosomes is present, and although the offspring are often sterile, this is a statistical probability, not a steadfast rule. Also artificial reproduction may change (see ANDi, the transgenic monkey) the statistics. </li></ul>
    28. 28. Joseph Fletcher’s 15 Propositions for Personhood <ul><li>1. minimum intelligence, </li></ul><ul><li>2. self-awareness, </li></ul><ul><li>3. self-control </li></ul><ul><li>4. a sense of time </li></ul><ul><li>5. a sense of futurity </li></ul><ul><li>6. a sense of the past </li></ul><ul><li>7. the capability of relating to others, </li></ul><ul><li>8. concern for others, </li></ul><ul><li>9. communication </li></ul><ul><li>10. control of existence </li></ul><ul><li>11. curiosity, </li></ul><ul><li>12. change and changeability </li></ul><ul><li>13. balance of rationality and feeling, </li></ul><ul><li>14. idiosyncrasy </li></ul><ul><li>15. neocortical functioning </li></ul>
    29. 29. Alternative Views Humanity, continued… <ul><li>Joseph Fletcher: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Cyborgs and Chimeras – no ethical difference: An Artificial Kidney is the same as transplanting an Animal Kidney </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Chimeras and Parahumans can be designed and used for dangerous or demeaning jobs. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Advocated creation of a “slave race” </li></ul></ul></ul>
    30. 30. Part 3 Legal Implications
    31. 31. Current Legal Spectrum <ul><li>U.S. Supreme Court cases provide a spectrum: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Natural” Persons (e.g. aliens, minors, illegitimate children) to </li></ul><ul><li>“ Juridical” Persons (e.g., corporations, labor unions, municipalities, government units. </li></ul><ul><li>No current legislative nor statutory definition </li></ul>
    32. 32. Property – Personhood Dichotomy in Law <ul><li>Historically, nonhuman animals have been considered “property”, </li></ul><ul><li>Slaves, women, and children were regarded as mere chattel until mid-to-late 1800’s and early 1900’s </li></ul><ul><li>Yet, nonhumans entities, such as corporations and ships have been recognized and given rights as “persons” </li></ul>
    33. 33. Personhood – Property Dichotomy continued… <ul><li>If historical notions of personhood prevail, we run the risk of denying essential basic liberties to intelligent, sentient beings </li></ul><ul><li>We need to ask: “How can we preserve human rights and dignity despite the fact that our “humanness” may no longer be the exclusive possession of Homo Sapiens ? </li></ul>
    34. 34. From Property to quasi-persons? <ul><ul><li>At least three states have had their highest court recognize that companion animals have a moral and legal status superior to inanimate property </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Several states have legislation pending to recognize the same </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Dead body cases (Ted Williams) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Frozen embryo disputes </li></ul></ul></ul>
    35. 35. Legal implications, continued… <ul><li>If transgenic creatures are worthy of moral status and respect, where would these rights come from? </li></ul><ul><li>Examples: Courts, legislatures, UN Declarations, proclamations </li></ul>
    36. 36. United Nations Resolution <ul><li>Resolution A-RES-37-7, the World Charter for Nature, declares: </li></ul><ul><li>Every form of life is unique, warranting respect regardless of its worth to man, and to accord other organisms such recognition, man must be guided by a moral code of action. </li></ul>
    37. 37. One Proposed Statutory Definition <ul><li>The term &quot;human being&quot; means: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(i) any entity possessing one or more of the higher faculties such as: the ability to reason (including, but not limited to, the ability to use facts and argue them, to arrive at conclusions from premises in a logical manner, to explain observed phenomena and to form beliefs based on facts) </li></ul></ul>
    38. 38. Proposed definition, continued… <ul><li>the ability to evaluate principles and observations to arrive at reasoned decisions; or </li></ul><ul><li>the ability to formulate speech and communicate; or </li></ul><ul><li>the ability to write; or </li></ul><ul><li>the ability to develop meaningful personal relationships with other human beings on the basis of equality; or </li></ul><ul><li>the demonstration of awareness of self as a unique and separate being; the ability to feel concern for others; or </li></ul><ul><li>or any other higher faculty; or </li></ul>
    39. 39. Proposed definition, continued… <ul><li>(ii) any creature born of the ovum and sperm of parents who are human beings, whether or not the union of ovum and sperm was in utero, and whether or not the genetic material of the resulting embryo was scientifically altered.   </li></ul>
    40. 40. Conclusions and Recommendations
    41. 41. The Great Chain of Being will yield to an alternative Pyramid of Being (Moral Paradigm) God    Angels    Humanity    Animals   Plants   Earth       Humanity/Personhood
    42. 42. Personhood-Property Continuum Evolves … <ul><li>As different forms of chimeras and cyborgs are created in the technical environments, the courts must determine where these creations fall on the continuum of personhood. </li></ul>
    43. 43. Personhood-Property Continuum Evolves … <ul><li>At one end of the spectrum, Inanimate Objects that cannot suffer </li></ul><ul><li>Towards the center of the spectrum, Quasi-property, Quasi-personhood with a baseline of negative liberties* </li></ul><ul><li>At the other end, the Kantian ideal with full rights and responsibilities . </li></ul>
    44. 44. Property-Personhood Continuum (Proposed Legal Paradigm) Property (Inanimate Objects) Full Personhood (Attendant rights & responsibilities) Quasi-property (Chimeric Humanoids) Fetuses Embryos Ex Utero Cyborgs Androids A/I Negative Liberties Biotechnology at the Margins of Personhood: An Evolving Legal Paradigm, J. of Evolution and Technology Cognitively impaired
    45. 45. For the future: Expect intense cross-disciplinary debate, discussion, as new intelligent life is created through biotechnology .
    46. 46. Thank you for attention! <ul><li>For Bibliography and References feel free to contact me at: </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>
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