The ethics of functional genomics: same, same, but different?
Respect for human life – a notion of worth uniting all members of the human race – constitutes a sense of anthropocentrism that has long been the justification for the enrolment of animals in experimentation executed to develop therapies to alleviate human suffering. Currently, however, advances in functional genomics are causing a qualitative transformation of the rationale for medical research performed on animals. The notion of human distinctness is being fundamentally challenged when gene sequences similar to those found in humans are identified in different species. In this Opinion article, we would like to highlight an inherent tension brought about by the current developments in functional genomics: a tension between the scientific and the ethical status of gene sequences. Is it reasonable to argue that they are the same for all practical purposes but different in ethical status?
Journal: - Volume 24, Issue 9, September 2006, Pages 387–389