Teacher-Written Lesson

Human-Animal Hybrids: Are We Playing God?

  • Written by Sophia Institute for Teachers
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Lesson Overview

The National Institutes of Health recently anounced a proposal to lift the year-old moratorium on the creation of human-animal hybrids, or chimeras, for medical research. Some scientists hope to insert human embryonic stem cells into animal embryos in order to map human diseases in animals, develop treatments and cures, and grow human organs for transplant. Other scientists oppose this research because of its ethical and moral implications. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has decried the proposal of the NIH and called for the ban to remain in effect.

Given these ethical and moral issues, what does the Catholic Church teach regarding the care and use of human embryonic stem cells and the creation of human-animal hybrids? How should scientists and medical researchers use the guidance of the Church in their work? This month’s Teaching the Faith with Current Events eLesson examines these issues in the light of Catholic teaching. By analyzing excerpts from Donum Vitae and Dignitas Personae and related information, students can begin to form a basic moral foundation that will help them answer these challenging questions of modern biomedical ethics.   

Recommended For

Grade Level: High School, Middle School

Subject: Current Events, Religion, Moral Theology, Science, Biology, Life Science

Learner: Traditional Classroom, Homeschooled Students, CCD/Parish-Based Education

Tagged as: teaching the faith with current events,  stem cell research,  morality,  medical ethics,  current events

Lesson Reviews

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Sep 14, 2016

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