Defining Chimeras - and Chimeric Concerns

Posted: 19 Feb 2004


This short article is a commentary on the article, "Crossing Species Boundaries," by Jason Scott Robert and Francoise Baylis. The article attempts to define chimera more thoroughly than its usual general understanding as a creature that is a mix of different species. It creates a taxonomy of chimeras, depending on what biological materials are mixed, the biological relationship between the two organisms that are sharing material, how the mixture of biological materials takes place, and when it takes place. It then examines the concerns of bioethicists and the public that are associated with these different types of chimeras. It concludes that ethical issues are not raised by whether something is or is not a chimera, but on the basis of three other questions about the chimeric organism: its "humanity," its "naturalness," and its proposed uses.

Note: This is a description of the paper and not the actual abstract.

Suggested Citation

Greely, Henry (Hank) T., Defining Chimeras - and Chimeric Concerns. Available at SSRN:

Henry (Hank) T. Greely (Contact Author)

Stanford Law School ( email )

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Stanford, CA 94305-8610
United States
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