Thursday, 11 February 2016

the island of doctor moreau or domestic-partnerships

Though I am no advocate for animal-testing nor place any stock on the pharmaceutical industry to regulate itself, perhaps the fear that a governing counsel in the UK might grant geneticists a purchase to explore hybridisation of beast and man may be misguided. The notion that animals might be breed as spare-parts or we might find ourselves in an awful transmigatory situation where a human soul might be trapped in the body of another species—or an animal’s mind in a person’s form.
It might be—however, a necessity that a single panel is convened to review proposals on a case-by-case basis and issue a verdict, as any codex would be insufficient to cover all the possibilities that are quickly growing and escape the peerage of science and ethics altogether. Proponents and sceptics alike concede life-saving advances have been won from animal-testing, though important questions remain regarding the efficacy and alternative routes that might have yielded the same benefits for mankind. Not to equate genetic-modification and the creation of chimera to the practise of husbandry, crop-cultivation or even natural selection (I think this argument is a thin and perhaps a lazy one), but our domestic familiars have been with us for a long time. Farming is an incubator for some of our most dire diseases but has also led to some redemptive advances, and it would behove one frightened by the headlines to remember that it was by the observation that milkmaids—having acquired a mild case of cow-pox, were somehow resistant to small-pox, and thus poising physicians for formulating the Germ Theory and the concept of vaccination (from the Latin for cow, vaca) and immunisation with antibodies eventually culled in chicken eggs. Insulin to treat diabetes was first isolated when doctors extracted a certain hormone that calves produced and tried injecting it in themselves and observed the effects on blood-sugar. What do you think? Is a counsel of experts superior to reactionary legislation or by this legal breach, are we just conceding any control in the face of progress?