Ethical arguments concerning human-animal chimera research: A systematic review

Download statistics - Document (COUNTER):

Kwisda, K.; White, L.; Hübner, D.: Ethical arguments concerning human-animal chimera research: A systematic review. In: BMC Medical Ethics 21 (2020), Nr. 1, 24. DOI:

Repository version

To cite the version in the repository, please use this identifier:

Selected time period:


Sum total of downloads: 26

Background: The burgeoning field of biomedical research involving the mixture of human and animal materials has attracted significant ethical controversy. Due to the many dimensions of potential ethical conflict involved in this type of research, and the wide variety of research projects under discussion, it is difficult to obtain an overview of the ethical debate. This paper attempts to remedy this by providing a systematic review of ethical reasons in academic publications on human-animal chimera research. Methods: We conducted a systematic review of the ethical literature concerning human-animal chimeras based on the research question: "What ethical reasons have been given for or against conducting human-animal chimera research, and how have these reasons been treated in the ongoing debate?" Our search extends until the end of the year 2017, including MEDLINE, Embase, PhilPapers and EthxWeb databases, restricted to peer-reviewed journal publications in English. Papers containing ethical reasons were analyzed, and the reasons were coded according to whether they were endorsed, mentioned or rejected. Results: Four hundred thirty-one articles were retrieved by our search, and 88 were ultimately included and analyzed. Within these articles, we found 464 passages containing reasons for and against conducting human-animal chimera research. We classified these reasons into five categories and, within these, identified 12 broad and 31 narrow reason types. 15% of the retrieved passages contained reasons in favor of conducting chimera research (Category P), while 85% of the passages contained reasons against it. The reasons against conducting chimera research fell into four further categories: reasons concerning the creation of a chimera (Category A), its treatment (Category B), reasons referring to metaphysical or social issues resulting from its existence (Category C) and to potential downstream effects of chimera research (Category D). A significant proportion of identified passages (46%) fell under Category C. Conclusions: We hope that our results, in revealing the conceptual and argumentative structure of the debate and highlighting some its most notable tendencies and prominent positions, will facilitate continued discussion and provide a basis for the development of relevant policy and legislation.
License of this version: CC BY 4.0 Unported
Document Type: article
Issue Date: 2020
Appears in Collections:Philosophische Fakultät

distribution of downloads over the selected time period:

downloads by country:

pos. country downloads
total perc.
1 image of flag of Germany Germany 20 76.92%
2 image of flag of United States United States 3 11.54%
3 image of flag of Poland Poland 1 3.85%
4 image of flag of Ireland Ireland 1 3.85%
5 image of flag of China China 1 3.85%

Further download figures and rankings:


Zur Erhebung der Downloadstatistiken kommen entsprechend dem „COUNTER Code of Practice for e-Resources“ international anerkannte Regeln und Normen zur Anwendung. COUNTER ist eine internationale Non-Profit-Organisation, in der Bibliotheksverbände, Datenbankanbieter und Verlage gemeinsam an Standards zur Erhebung, Speicherung und Verarbeitung von Nutzungsdaten elektronischer Ressourcen arbeiten, welche so Objektivität und Vergleichbarkeit gewährleisten sollen. Es werden hierbei ausschließlich Zugriffe auf die entsprechenden Volltexte ausgewertet, keine Aufrufe der Website an sich.