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The aim of this paper is to critically examine David Shaw, Wybo Dondorp, and Guido de Wert's arguments in favour of the procurement of human organs from human/nonhuman-primate chimeras, specifically from great-ape/human chimeras. My main claim is that their arguments fail and are in need of substantial revision. To prove this I first introduce the topic, and then reconstruct Shaw et al.'s position and arguments. Next, I show that Shaw et al.: (1) failed to properly apply the subsidiarity and proportionality principles; (2) neglected species overlapping cases in their ethical assessment; (3) ignored the ethics literature on borderline persons; and (4) misunderstood McMahan's two-tiered moral theory. These mistakes render an important part of their conclusions either false or problematic to the point that they would no longer endorse them. Finally I will briefly mention a possible multipolar solution to the human organ shortage problem that would reduce the need for chimeras' organs.

Original publication




Journal article


Med Health Care Philos

Publication Date





215 - 225


Chimeras, Great ape, Human-nonhuman chimeras, Nonhuman animals, Organ donation, Part-human, Animals, Chimera, Ethical Theory, Humans, Morals, Tissue and Organ Procurement