The Ethics of Human Brain Organoid Transplantation in Animals.
Kataoka M., Gyngell C., Savulescu J., Sawai T.
In this paper, we outline how one might conduct a comprehensive ethical evaluation of human brain organoid transplantation in animals. Thus far, ethical concerns regarding this type of research have been assumed to be similar to those associated with other transplants of human cells in animals, and have therefore not received significant attention. The focus has been only on the welfare, moral status, or mental capacities of the host animal. However, the transplantation of human brain organoids introduces several new ethical issues. Many of these are related to uncertainty regarding whether or not brain organoids might be conscious. While these concerns might not be immediately relevant, they warrant closer scrutiny. We discuss how various ethical issues are relevant to different stages of human brain organoid transplantation and can guide the ethical evaluation of research. Our examination would broaden the horizons of the debate on the transplantation of brain organoids.