Missouri Right to Life Policy on Chimeras
Missouri Right to Life is opposed to the production of chimeras in part from human genetic materials.
A “chimera” may be described as an artificially produced individual having tissues of two or more species. The idea of combining human genetic materials (e.g., chromosomes, genes, and the DNA strands out of which genes and chromosomes are composed) with genetic materials of non-humans has graduated from bad science fiction into current reality. (Pictures and technical details may be found at Y. Chung et al., “Reprogramming of Human Somatic Cells Using Human and Animal Oocytes,” Cloning and Stem Cells (journal), vol 11, no. 2 (2009), available at http://www.liebertonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1089/ clo.2009.0004?cookieSet=1. See also Chelsea Zimmermann, “The Absolute Uniqueness of Human Beings,” Reflections of a Paralytic (web log) (October 26, 2009), available at http://reflectionsofaparalytic.com/, and “It Is Easier to Clone a Human Than to Blend One With an Animal,” Discover Magazine 80 Beats (web log) (February 4, 2009), available at http://blogs.discovermag azine.com/80beats/2009/02/04/it-is-easier-to-clone-a-human-than-to-blend-one-with-an-animal/.)
For scientists deliberately to produce a mixed biological creature that is part-human and part-animal is to show contempt for human beings. In such a project, all respect for humanity is abdicated in favor of ruthless utilitarianism, by which any travesty may be practiced upon another human (or part-human) who is not strong enough or conscious enough to resist. The scientific hubris – the desire to “play God” – that drives such experiments is minimized in public pronouncements; they are projected as founded upon humanitarian motives, especially finding cures for disease.
Missouri Right to Life insists that human beings be treated as subjects, not objects. Every human being is unique, with capacities and promise that are too boundless for measurement. On this earth, only humans have minds that are capable of contemplating the infinite and the unknown. Only humans can make promises and keep them. Only humans can write and appreciate poetry, or paint icons and landscapes, or dream of justice and peace. There is something inherent in the human heart that longs to voyage beyond mere laboratory data into limitless depths of truth and good and beauty, of which the most sublime symphonies or elegant ballets are mere hints and whisperings.
No mechanistic and materialistic view of the world can account for such things as love, sacrifice, imagination, or beauty without reducing them to unrecognizable caricatures of what people actually experience in their lives on a daily basis. No one is justified in reducing humanity to an object for manipulation in laboratories. Missouri Right to Life condemns the production of mixed human-animal creatures by whatever means may be invented in the mind of man.