“Primum non necere”. First do no harm. This phrase is thought be a part of the Hippocratic Oath but isn’t but yet still, it is a popular quote. The Hippocratic Oath is an oath taken by medical students before becoming full-pledged doctors. This phrase is quoted whenever the ethics code is challenged.
Testing on human embryos crosses the line for a lot of scientists, medical professionals and the general public.
Why do scientists test on human embryos?
One of the reasons why they test on human embryos is to create chimeras. Chimeras are a hybrid creature consisting of human and animal DNA. They are created so that organs such the heart can be grown as there is a shortage of organs for those who need transplants in order to save their lives.
But this is superbly controversial.
One Insoo Hyun, PhD., associate professor of bioethics at School of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University said that concerns can be “reasonably” addressed in such a way that animal welfare is prioritized while still giving scientists the leeway that they need to do their research that is necessary: creating organs for those who need it.
What exactly is the worry of those with these concerns?
The so-called concerns are that since human cells are meeting with animals cells, the creature–chimera–could become “self-aware” like us: have a conscious state thereby violating human rights law. According to Dr. Hyun, this is not possible. Even though the chimera might have similar physiological features to us, those similar will not include the brain.