Evidences of Case of Salk Institute for Biological Studies

Case 22-2017: Salk Institute for Biological Studies & Jun Wu


By Master Yan Maitri-Shi, Prosecutor



After Legitimating and Validating Evidences and Charges by Master Maitreya, President and Spiritual Judge of IBEC-BTHR, it is addressed the case against the accused party “Salk Institute for Biological Studies & Jun Wu”. This investigation was initiated by the Maitriyana Buddhist University.

The Charges by which the Buddhist Tribunal on Human Rights is accusing “Salk Institute for Biological Studies & Jun Wuare enumerated below:

  • Crimes against Humanity
  • Violation of Animal Rights

Therefore, it is detailed a series of EVIDENCES that support the Charges referred so that the Jury members decide about the possible “Responsibility”, “Innocence” or “Insanity” of the accused. Such evidence come from graphic and audiovisual media that have been gathered, sorted and confirmed in their order and context as Means of Proof in order to know, establish, dictate and determine the Responsibility of the Accused for committing the aforementioned Charges.

The procedure established in the Statute of INTERNATIONAL BUDDHIST ETHICS  COMMITTEE & BUDDHIST TRIBUNAL ON HUMAN RIGHTS provides both bodies the ostentation to enjoy independence and liberty from state and national regulation and control, besides having the legality and acting as a Buddhist People in order to assert its customs, traditions, practices, procedures, judgments and rights as well as acting in pursuit of the development of Spirituality, of Buddhist Ethics, and of the defense of International Human Rights. This procedure has the particularity, singularity and distinction of having “Special Jurisdiction of the Tribal Law” and “Universal Jurisdiction of the International Law”, thus having the Character, Juridical validity, Legal Powers, infrastructure, Training and Capability necessary to be Actor, Administrator and Executor of Justice in this realm and exercise, by judging of the Accused by means of an Ethical Judgment whose Purpose is Truth, Reconciliation and Learning.-





National Geographic News: “Scientists have begun blurring the line between human and animal by producing chimeras—a hybrid creature that’s part human, part animal. Chinese scientists at the Shanghai Second Medical University in 2003 successfully fused human cells with rabbit eggs. The embryos were reportedly the first human-animal chimeras successfully created. They were allowed to develop for several days in a laboratory dish before the scientists destroyed the embryos to harvest their stem cells. In Minnesota last year researchers at the Mayo Clinic created pigs with human blood flowing through their bodies. And at Stanford University in California an experiment might be done later this year to create mice with human brains. Scientists feel that, the more humanlike the animal, the better research model it makes for testing drugs or possibly growing “spare parts,” such as livers, to transplant into humans. (…)But creating human-animal chimeras—named after a monster in Greek mythology that had a lion’s head, goat’s body, and serpent’s tail—has raised troubling questions: What new subhuman combination should be produced and for what purpose? At what point would it be considered human? And what rights, if any, should it have? (…) Biotechnology activist Jeremy Rifkin is opposed to crossing species boundaries, because he believes animals have the right to exist without being tampered with or crossed with another species. He concedes that these studies would lead to some medical breakthroughs. Still, they should not be done. (…)Canada passed the Assisted Human Reproduction Act, which bans chimeras. Specifically, it prohibits transferring a nonhuman cell into a human embryo and putting human cells into a nonhuman embryo. (…) Irv Weissman, director of Stanford University’s Institute of Cancer/Stem Cell Biology and Medicine in California, (…)Weissman has already created mice with brains that are about one percent human. Later this year he may conduct another experiment where the mice have 100 percent human brains. This would be done, he said, by injecting human neurons into the brains of embryonic mice. Before being born, the mice would be killed and dissected to see if the architecture of a human brain had formed. If it did, he’d look for traces of human cognitive behavior.”[1]

Jeremy Rifkin: “There are other ways to advance medicine and human health besides going out into the strange, brave new world of chimeric animals (…) One doesn’t have to be religious or into animal rights to think this doesn’t make sense, It’s the scientists who want to do this. They’ve now gone over the edge into the pathological domain.”

Fergus Walsh (BBC): “(2008) Scientists at Newcastle University have created part-human, part-animal hybrid embryos for the first time in the UK, the BBC can reveal. The embryos survived for up to three days and are part of medical research into a range of illnesses. It comes a month before MPs are to debate the future of such research. The Catholic Church describes it as monstrous. But medical bodies and patient groups say such research is vital for our understanding of disease. They argue that the work could pave the way for new treatments for conditions such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Under the microscope the round bundles of cells look like any other three-day-old embryos. In fact they are hybrids – part-human, part-animal. They were created by injecting DNA derived from human skin cells into eggs taken from cows ovaries which have had virtually all their genetic material removed. So what possible justification can scientists offer for doing what the Catholic Church has branded experiments of Frankenstein proportion?.”

Yaiza Martínez: “Scientists at the University of Rochester (USA) have found that a type of glial cells of the central nervous system, the astrocytes, have not hitherto been considered important in human cognitive functions. And they have discovered it by testing them in the brains of mouse pups, by which these cells expanded. The animals then became four times ‘smarter’ than their equals. The finding would provide a new model for the investigation of a number of diseases in which such cells could be involved. A team of scientists at the University of Rochester in the United States has discovered that a type of human central nervous system cell is very important for cognitive function. And it has discovered it, not with humans, as would be expected, but with mice to which these cells were implanted. Specifically, it is about astrocytes, a type of star-shaped glial cells found in the spinal cord and brain, where they are the most abundant cells. Astrocytes have a high number of key functions for performing nerve activity, and they originate in the early stages of the development of the central nervous system. In humans, they are larger, more abundant, diverse and complex than in other species. In addition, according to the present study and another one also performed with mice in 2013, they would have unique functional advantages. This finding provides “a new model for the investigation of a number of diseases in which these cells could be involved,” the authors of both investigations said last year in a statement from the University of Rochester.  Last year, this same team of scientists, led by neurologist Steve Goldman, injected mature human glial cells into the brains of newborn mice. Astrocytes were then integrated into the brain tissue of animals, making them more intelligent, as evidenced by tests performed on the speed of information processing by their brains and on their responses to electrical brain stimulation.   The difference between this study and that of 2013 is that researchers have recently implanted into the brain of these animals glial progenitor cells capable of dividing and multiplying, taken from donated human fetuses. These cells were injected into the brains of mouse pups, in which they developed astrocytes, reports NewsScientist.   One year later, the glial cells of the mice had been completely displaced by intrusive human cells: the 300,000 glial cells of our species implanted in each mouse multiplied in that period to reach 12 million, displacing the native cells. Astrocytes are vital for conscious thinking because they help strengthen the connections between neurons or synapses. Its extensions in the form of tendril are involved in the coordination of the transmission of electrical signals.  Human astrocytes are between 10 and 20 times the size of mouse astrocytes and have 100 times more extensions. This means that they can coordinate all the neuronal signals of an area much more skillfully than the astrocytes of a mouse. Tests performed with mice with implanted glial cells demonstrated that they were much smarter than their non-manipulated equals. The scientists found this by measuring the ability of both groups of animals in order to remember a sound associated with an electric shock, for example. In this case, the ‘humanized’ mice were paralyzed four times longer than the other mice when they heard the sound, suggesting that the memory of the first mice was about four times higher than the second. We can say that, statistically, these mice were significantly smarter than the mice in the control group, says Goldman. Genetic ‘Humanization’ of Mice Last September, as part of another study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), an international team of scientists also tried to ‘humanize’ mice, in this case through genetic manipulation.  The organisms of these animals were prepared at MIT to express a human mutation of a gene that, since the 1990s, has been linked to language: FoxP2. As a result, these animals learned much faster than other mice, the ordinary ones, to go through a labyrinth. From this fact, the researchers deduced that the human version of the FoxP2 gene makes it easier to transform new experiences into a habit, which implies conceptualizing. At the brain level, researchers found that humanized FoxP2 had activated genes involved in the regulation of synaptic connections between neurons in transgenic mice. A greater activity of dopamine was also recorded in the brain of these animals in a part of the striated body involved in habit formation. This other study was based on a 2009 experiment, conducted by scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, where it was revealed that the vocalizations of mice genetically manipulated to express the human version of the FoxP2 gene became more similar to those of the crying of human babies. It was also found that transgenic mice had dendrites – those thin extensions of the neurons they use to communicate with one another – in the striated body, which is a part of the brain involved in habit formation. Genetically modified animals were also better than ordinary mice in the formation of new synapses or neural connections. ”[2]



Rick Weiss (Washington Post): “By injecting human embryonic stem cells into the brains of fetal mice inside the womb, scientists in California have created living mice with working human brain cells inside their skulls. The research offers the first proof that human embryonic stem cells — vaunted for their potential to turn into every kind of human cell, at least in laboratory dishes — can become functional human brain cells inside a living animal, reaching out to make connections with surrounding brain cells. The human cells had no apparent impact on the animals’ behavior. About 100,000 cells were injected into each animal and just a fraction survived in their new hosts. That means the animals’ brains were still more than 99 percent mouse — a precaution that helped avoid ethical objections to creating animals that were too human. (…) More immediately, mice with humanized brains could be a boon for research, providing a living laboratory where scientists can study human brain diseases and drug companies can test the safety of experimental medicines. Let’s say you’re in the last stages of research before testing a new drug in humans, said lead researcher Fred Gage of the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences in La Jolla, California. This could help tell you what effect it will have on human neurons inside a brain. The work, published in today’s issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is the latest in the ethically challenging field of human-animal chimera research (…). In previous studies, scientists had injected brain cells from aborted human fetuses into the brains of rodents and shown that the human cells could survive and migrate to various brain regions. But because those human brain cells were relatively mature, they were larger than their rodent counterparts and it often was unclear whether they were working. The new work, which started with human embryonic stem cells instead of cells that had already become brain cells, showed that those human cells developed into all the major kinds of cells normally found in mammalian brains, namely neurons and nerve-nurturing glial cells. It also showed that the neurons are biologically active and make what appear to be good connections, or synapses, with adjacent mouse cells. It’s the best evidence yet that they are integrating and functioning, said Irving Weissman, a Stanford University stem cell scientist. It’s a nice advance. Reflecting growing concerns about the ethics of making animal-human hybrids, the National Academy of Sciences earlier this year released voluntary guidelines on chimera research that have been adopted by major research institutes and have been made mandatory in California for state grant recipients. (…) The guidelines allow for a slow scale-up of the proportion of human cells in animals’ brains. Gage estimated that in the latest work as few as 100 of the 100,000 injected cells survived and became integrated with the mouse brains, which typically contain 75 million to 90 million mouse cells. Henry Greely, a Stanford law professor and ethicist who has reviewed proposals to create human-mouse chimeras, said the work looked interesting, good and ethical by current standards. Stem cell therapies will only work if the transplanted cells will make those connections, Greely said, and there’s no better place to test that but in an animal model. (…) Nor were they rejected by the mice’s immune systems, perhaps because they were injected so early that they were perceived as self rather than other. The cells migrated into the forebrain, where they grew only to the size of mouse neurons. Most extraordinary, Gage said, was that they connected to others.”[3]



National Geographic: “In a remarkable—if likely controversial—feat, scientists announced today that they have created the first successful human-animal hybrids. The project proves that human cells can be introduced into a non-human organism, survive, and even grow inside a host animal, in this case, pigs. (…) That’s now one step closer to reality, an international team of researchers led by the Salk Institute reports in the journal Cell. The team created what’s known scientifically as a chimera: an organism that contains cells from two different species. In the past, human-animal chimeras have been beyond reach. Such experiments are currently ineligible for public funding in the United States (so far, the Salk team has relied on private donors for the chimera project). Public opinion, too, has hampered the creation of organisms that are part human, part animal.  But for lead study author Jun Wu of the Salk Institute, we need only look to mythical chimeras—like the human-bird hybrids we know as angels—for a different perspective. In ancient civilizations, chimeras were associated with God, he says, and our ancestors thought the chimeric form can guard humans. In a sense, that’s what the team hopes human-animal hybrids will one day do. There are two ways to make a chimera. The first is to introduce the organs of one animal into another—a risky proposition, because the host’s immune system may cause the organ to be rejected. The other method is to begin at the embryonic level, introducing one animal’s cells into the embryo of another and letting them grow together into a hybrid. (…) At first, Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, a professor in the Salk Institute’s Gene Expression Laboratory, thought the concept of using a host embryo to grow organs seemed straightforward enough. However, it took Belmonte and more than 40 collaborators four years to figure out how to make a human-animal chimera. To do so, the team piggybacked off prior chimera research conducted on mice and rats. (…) But pigs have a notable similarity to humans. Though they take less time to gestate, their organs look a lot like ours. Not that these similarities made the task any easier. The team discovered that, in order to introduce human cells into the pigs without killing them, they had to get the timing just right. (…) When those just-right human cells were injected into the pig embryos, the embryos survived. Then they were put into adult pigs, which carried the embryos for between three and four weeks before they were removed and analyzed. In all, the team created 186 later-stage chimeric embryos that survived, says Wu, and we estimate [each had] about one in 100,000 human cells. (…) The next big step, says Cheng, is to figure out whether it’s possible to increase the number of human cells the embryos can tolerate.”[4]

The Telegraph: “Scientists have created the first human-pig hybrids in a breakthrough which could pave the way for doctors to grow an unlimited supply of organs for transplants. (…) Salk Institute for Biological Studies in the US has combined both concepts and shown it is possible to grow human tissue within a pig. The achievement took four years, 1,500 pig embryos and the stem cells from 40 people. We underestimated the effort involved, said lead investigator Professor Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, of the Salk Institute’s Gene Expression Laboratory. This is an important first step. Our next challenge is to guide the human cells into forming a particular organ in pigs. The ultimate goal is to grow functional and transplantable tissue or organs. (…) The human cells survived and formed a human/pig hybrid embryo which was then implanted into a sow and allowed to develop for between three and four week so that scientists could check they were growing normally. Crucially, the surrogate cells only impacted muscle formation. There have been ethical concerns about human cells may start to form neurons, potentially sparking human consciousness in the animal’s brain. Now the scientists are planning to genetically edit the pig embryos so they cannot produce organs in the hope that the gaps will be filled by human DNA (…). This is an exciting publication. It clearly demonstrates that human stem cells introduced into the early pig embryo can form a human-pig chimera, said Professor Bruce Whitelaw, Interim Director of The Roslin Institute, and Professor of Animal Biotechnology, University of Edinburgh. This is the first scientific publication to achieve this result.  This paves the way for significant advances in our understanding of cell lineage development in the embryo and hints towards future novel biotech applications. Professor Robin Lovell-Badge, Group Leader at the Francis Crick Institute, added: The goals of this study are highly laudable. “An ability to make interspecies chimeras would be valuable in terms of providing basic understanding of species differences in embryo development and organ function, and if human cells are incorporated then this offers the possibility of growing human tissues or organs in animals for transplant.  The chimeras can also be used to help scientists understand early human development and the onset of disease, and even provide a testing platform for new drugs. (…) Prof Darren Griffin, Professor of Genetics, University of Kent, said: The long term aim is further to develop the scientific basis that may, in the future, support xenotransplantation, e.g. growing human organs in large mammals such as pigs as a means of addressing the existing shortage in donor organs. Both xenotransplantation itself and the creation of pig/human chimeras raises complex ethical issues and are rightly subject to robust regulation. (…) However the idea of creating human animal hybrids has met with ethical opposition, with some people claiming scientists are creating ‘monsters.’  I find these experiments disturbing, said Dr David King, Director of Human Genetics Alert, the secular watchdog group. In mythology human-animal chimeras were frightening monsters for good reason. I don’t recall these scientists asking for the public’s opinion before going ahead with such experiments.[5]



Dr Julia Baines (science policy adviser at PETA animal rights group): “Not only is the creation of animals containing human material cruel, it’s also an inaccurate science that wastes resources, delays real medical progress and can endanger human life (…). Animal mothers undergo invasive procedures to insert human material into their offspring, and the young often die prematurely or suffer from unpredictable abnormalities, such as malfunctioning organs or rampant tumour growth. The animals used in these experiments are treated as nothing more than laboratory tools, yet they have the same capacity to feel pain and suffer that we do.’[6]

Jeremy Rifkin: “Animals have the right to exist without being tampered with or crossed with another species.”

Universal Declaration on the Rights of Non-Human Beings: “Article 25 – Animals have the right to existence, non-extinction, respect, tolerance and peaceful coexistence between different species. (…) Article 31 – Animals have the right not to be considered as an object, merchandise or private property of any individual, company or State. (…) Article 33 – Animals have the right not to be subjected to experiments or to genetic manipulation.”



Catholic Church in Dignitas Personae (2008): “Hybridization attempts. 33. Animal eggs have recently been used for the reprogramming of human somatic cell nuclei – generally called hybrid cloning – in order to extract embryonic stem cells from the resulting embryos, without resorting to the use of human eggs. From an ethical point of view, such procedures constitute an offense to the dignity of the human being, due to the mixture of human and animal genetic elements capable of altering the specific identity of man. The eventual use of stem cells extracted from these embryos may also involve risks not yet known to health, due to the presence of animal genetic material in their cytoplasm. Consciously exposing a human being to these risks is morally and deontologically unacceptable”.

William Cheshire (associate professor of neurology at the Mayo Clinic’s Jacksonville, Florida): “This is unexplored biologic territory (…). Whatever moral threshold of human neural development we might choose to set as the limit for such an experiment, there would be a considerable risk of exceeding that limit before it could be recognized. (…) We must be cautious not to violate the integrity of humanity or of animal life over which we have a stewardship responsibility,”

Catholic Church Cardinal Keith O Brien: (The creation of hybrids is) “a monstrous attack against human rights, against human dignity and human life”.

Jom Dobbin: (The creation of hybrids is) “Consciously erasing the boundaries between humans and other species is an attack on the heart of what makes us human”.


  1. J. León: “Respect for the dignity of man, for the fact of being a person that is free, is the foundation of all ethics”[7]
  2. González Pérez: “In the name of dignity, attempts are made to justify radically contrary solutions to fundamental issues such as the admissibility of certain forms of genetic manipulation, abortion, the availability of human organs, medical experiments with persons and euthanasia”[8]

Institute of Bioethics at the Foundation for Health Sciences: “The supreme principle of ethics cannot be other than respect for the dignity of each and every human being. That is the criterion that must always direct judgments on the correctness or incorrectness, goodness and evilness of our acts”[9]

Mercedes Alberruche Díaz-Flores: “The dignity of the person is the measure that should guide biological, genetic and medical interventions on man from conception to his last breath”.[10]

UNESCO Declaration on the Responsibilities of the Present Generations Towards Future Generations: “The present generations should strive to ensure the maintenance and perpetuation of humankind with due respect for the dignity of the human person. Consequently, the nature and form of human life must not be undermined in any way whatsoever. (…) The human genome, in full respect of the dignity of the human person and human rights, must be protected and biodiversity safeguarded. Scientific and technological progress should not in any way impair or compromise the preservation of the human and other species.”

UNESCO – Universal Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights: “Article 1: The human genome underlies the fundamental unity of all members of the human family, as well as the recognition of their inherent dignity and diversity. In a symbolic sense, Human Genome is the heritage of humanity. (…) Article 6: No one shall be subjected to discrimination based on genetic characteristics that is intended to infringe or has the effect of infringing human rights, fundamental freedoms and human dignity. (…) Article 10: No research or research applications concerning the human genome, in particular in the fields of biology, genetics and medicine, should prevail over respect for the human rights, fundamental freedoms and human dignity of individuals or, where applicable, of groups of people.  Article 11: Practices which are contrary to human dignity, such as reproductive cloning of human beings, shall not be permitted. States and competent international organizations are invited to co-operate in identifying such practices and in taking, at national or international level, the measures necessary to ensure that the principles set out in this Declaration are respected. (…) The responsibilities inherent in the activities of researchers, including meticulousness, caution, intellectual honesty and integrity in carrying out their research as well as in the presentation and utilization of their findings, should be the subject of particular attention in the framework of research on the human genome, because of its ethical and social implications. Public and private science policy-makers also have particular responsibilities in this respect.”

Council of Europe – Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine: “Parties to this Convention shall protect the dignity and identity of all human beings and guarantee everyone, without discrimination, respect for their integrity and other rights and fundamental freedoms with regard to the application of biology and medicine. (…) The interests and welfare of the human being shall prevail over the sole interest of society or science. ».

Cynthia Cohen (member of Canada’s Stem Cell Oversight Committee): “Creating chimeras by mixing human and animal gametes (sperms and eggs) or transferring reproductive cells, diminishes human dignity. It would deny that there is something distinctive and valuable about human beings that ought to be honored and protected

  1. Habermas: “genetic manipulation affects issues of species identity and self-understanding of the human being as belonging to a species”[11]

WMA Resolution on Cloning (November 1997): “Recognising that there have been recent developments in science leading to the cloning of a mammal, namely a sheep, and because this raises the possibility of such cloning techniques being used in humans, in turn raising concern for the dignity of the human being and protection for the security of human genetic material, the World Medical Association hereby calls on doctors engaged in  research and other researchers to abstain voluntarily from participating in the cloning of human beings until the scientific, ethical and legal issues have been fully considered by doctors and scientists, and any necessary controls put in place..”

The European Parliament of the European Union has spoken on several occasions against human cloning, as in the Resolution on the Cloning of Human Embryos (1993); The Resolution on Cloning (1997); The Resolution on the Cloning of Human Beings (1998); The Resolution on the Decision of the European Patent Office on the cloning of human beings (2000); The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union which states that in the framework of medicine and biology the right to integrity of the person shall be respected, for which human reproductive cloning is prohibited.

Buddhist Tribunal on Human Rights: Human cloning experiments are banned in Argentina, France, Italy, Portugal, Switzerland and Tunisia. In 1997 the National Council for the Ethics of Life Sciences stated in Portugal that the cloning of human beings is a problem to human dignity, the balance of the human species and social life, being ethically unacceptable and prohibited. In Article 119 of the Switzerland’s Magna Carta states that all cloning and intervention in the genetic heritage of human germ cells and embryos is inadmissible. The Ministry of Health and the National Committee of Medical Ethics of Tunisia consider that any technology of human cloning constitutes a violation of all frames of reference concerning human reproduction and the dignity of the human species.

  1. Spaemann: (Human Rights) “must be recognized for every being that descends from man and from the first moment of its natural existence, without being lawful to add any additional criterion. If the claim to belong to human society was left to the judgment of the majority, we would have to define in virtue of which properties one has human dignity and the corresponding rights can be demanded. But this would be about completely suppressing the very idea of human rights. These presuppose that every man, as a member of humanity, can assert his rights against others, which in turn means that belonging to the species homo sapiens can only be based on that minimum dignity that we have called human dignity”[12]

A.M. Gonzalez: “Precisely that dignity is at stake when anyone arrogates the right to decide which beings deserve to be called people and which ones do not. Because then they are easily regarded as a mere means, and are subjected to utilitarian calculations. The weak, the unproductive, the crippled, the children, the sick, could be progressively excluded from the definition of person, and that exclusion could easily be justified on the basis of state reasons and, ultimately, of convenience. In the face of this, it is worth to remember that dignity, unlike value, is not commensurable”[13]

European Parliament – Resolution on the ethical and legal problems of genetic manipulation: “As regards chimera and hybrids: 42. Calls for the following to be prohibited as criminal offences: (i) the generation of viable hybrid embryos with various genomes and using human DNA; (ii) fertilization of a human egg cell with animal sperm or the fertilization of an animal egg cell with human sperm to produce a viable embryo; (iii) the transfer of the cell combinations or embryos referred to above to a woman; (iv) all experiments designed to generate chimera and hybrids using human and animal genetic material;”

European Parliament – Report on the ethical and legal problems of genetic engineering: Generation of chimera and hybrids In principle both types of reproduction are conceivable using human gametes, but they conflict particularly crassly with the right of the individual to dignity and self-determination and disregard the specific rights of humans deriving from their biological make-up. The manipulative and contemptuous treatment of human life is carried to unparalleled lengths in such experiments. The mixing of human and animal genes as can occur in the formation of chimera and hybrids must be prohibited categorically. It is incompatible with the rights and values to which humans are entitled under our legal and political system. On the basis of the above observations, the following requirements should apply to any experiments for the production of hybrids and chimera (…) As no distinction can be made between research and application, all experiments designed to generate chimera and hybrids using human and animal genetic material are to be subject to criminal proceedings.”


Prof. Dr. Albin Eser – European Parliament – Public hearing on the legal and ethical problems of human genetics: “Interference in man’s genetic heritage Gene transfers into somatic cells to eliminate a disease did not raise any fundamental problems. Gene transfers involving human genetic material must be prohibited. The cloning of human beings — whether by artificially producing multiple births or by the exchange of totipotent cell nuclei — should be prohibited by law. The creation of hybrids or crosses between humans and animals must be prohibited by law.”


Profesor Dr. Gonzalo Herranz – European Parliament – Public hearing on the legal and ethical problems of human genetics with particular reference to the problems associated with genetic engineering: “Logical application of the human rights guaranteeing respect for the integrity of the human person requires a ban to be imposed on all research which might lead to a loss of human qualities, both individual and collective, of the subjects undergoing the genetic experiments. This includes not only the techniques for creating hybrids between species involving humans, but also those others which may result in the biological or psychological inferiority of the individuals involved.”

B.M. Knoppers: “In the context of the new genetics, that who is sure and respects human dignity cannot be limited to a conception of the natural rights of the person that determines the genetic immutability of the individual at the time of his birth. Respect for human dignity also means the need to speak about collective responsibility for the human genome”[14]

Report A-2-327 / 88 by the Committee on Legal Affairs and Citizens’ Rights of the European Parliament: ” The use of embryos for research purposes which deny their human nature and subject them to arbitrary goals is an infringement of the dignity of man. (…) A human can, thus, never be a thing, but will always have a personality. (…) It must also be the primary consideration when assessing research on embryos”

LYDIA FEITO GRANDE: “The current discussion about the applications of genetic engineering techniques or cloning repeatedly insists on the appeal to dignity as the foundation of every right and as an absolute limit to any intervention. (…) Attempting against human dignity is undoubtedly the end point that marks the barrier of the unacceptable. Reciprocally, defending dignity is the great ethical task and the ultimate ground of human rights. (…)Speaking about liberty, equality or solidarity is to refer to a basic principle that underpins these concepts: respect for the dignity of people. (…) The Protocol to the Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine, on the prohibition of cloning human beings when it states that cloning is contrary to human dignity, due to the fact of instrumentalizing the human being. (…)The human rights documents in relation to biotechnology, genetic engineering and cloning use this concept of dignity in the sense of affirming that there is an intrinsic characteristic to the condition of person, who deserves a respect, understood, in a first sense, as non intervention, that is, in the line of the right to an unmanipulated genetic heritage defended by the Council of Europe. It is a matter of keeping the human being unaltered, at least when there are reasonable doubts that the changes introduced may lead to some kind of change in the genetic identity of the individual; or when the risks associated with the technique undermine a basic element such as the safeguarding of the physical and mental integrity of the person, i.e., contravening the principle of non-maleficence. (…)It is necessary to determine the legitimate purposes of research and the patterns of respect for human dignity. This principle can be broken down into four others which, according to N. Lenoir, would justify an ethics of scientific research, and they are applicable in the field of biotechnologies: 1) respect for the dignity and freedom of the person, 2) prevention of the technological risks on which the future of humanity depends; (3) preservation of the freedom of scientific creation; and 4) the intellectual and moral solidarity of humankind, through the conception of scientific knowledge as a common heritage which must be shared for the benefit of all. (…)  It does not seem reasonable to renounce genetic research and applications of biotechnology, but it can be stated that they must be controlled and must follow criteria of caution and prudence. For this, despite the lack of a solid foundation, the documents discussed (European Convention on Bioethics and Universal Declaration on the Genome and Human Rights), based on the protection of dignity, acts as a guarantee of respect for human rights.”[15]



INTERNATIONAL MILITARY TRIBUNAL AT NUREMBERG (1947): “The great weight of the evidence before us to effect that certain types of medical experiments on human beings, when kept within reasonably well-defined bounds, conform to the ethics of the medical profession generally. The protagonists of the practice of human experimentation justify their views on the basis that such experiments yield results for the good of society that are unprocurable by other methods or means of study. All agree, however, that certain basic principles must be observed in order to satisfy moral, ethical and legal concepts: 1. The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential. This means that the person involved should have legal capacity to give consent; should be so situated as to be able to exercise free power of choice (…); and should have sufficient knowledge and comprehension of the elements of the subject matter involved as to enable him to make an understanding and enlightened decision. This latter element requires that before the acceptance of an affirmative decision by the experimental subject there should be made known to him the nature, duration, and purpose of the experiment; the method and means by which it is to be conducted; all inconveniences and hazards reasonably to be expected; and the effects upon his health or person which may possibly come from his participation in the experiment. (…) 2. The experiment should be such as to yield fruitful results for the good of society, unprocurable by other methods or means of study, and not random and unnecessary in nature (…) 4. The experiment should be so conducted as to avoid all unnecessary physical and mental suffering and injury. 5. No experiment should be conducted where there is an a priori reason to believe that death or disabling injury will occur; except, perhaps, in those experiments where the experimental physicians also serve as subjects. 6. The degree of risk to be taken should never exceed that determined by the humanitarian importance of the problem to be solved by the experiment. 7. Proper preparations should be made and adequate facilities provided to protect the experimental subject against even remote possibilities of injury, disability or death. (…) 10. During the course of the experiment the scientist in charge must be prepared to terminate the experiment at any stage, if he has probable cause to believe, in the exercise of the good faith, superior skill and careful judgment required of him, that a continuation of the experiment is likely to result in injury, disability, or death to the experimental subject.”

International Declaration on Human Genetic Data (UNESCO): “The interests and welfare of the individual should have priority over the rights and interests of society and research. (…) Any collection, processing, use and storage of human genetic data, human proteomic data and biological samples shall be consistent with the international law of human rights. (…) diagnosis and health care, genetic screening and testing of minors and adults not able to consent will normally only be ethically acceptable when it has important implications for the health of the person and has regard to his or her best interest.”

Bioethics Declaration of Gijón: “The use of stem cells for therapeutic purposes should be allowed provided that it does not involve the destruction of embryos. (…) Research on human beings should be carried out taking into account the freedom of science and respect for human dignity and must get the prior approval of independent ethical committees.  Experimental subjects must give their fully informed and free consent.”

Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Human Dignity with respect to the Applications of Biology and Medicine: “Article 18. … 2. The creation of human embryos for research purposes is prohibited.”

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966 (ICCPR): “Article 7. No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. In particular, no one shall be subjected without his free consent to medical or scientific experimentation”.

Monsignor Elio Sgreccia (Spokesman for the Pontifical Academy for Life Sciences): “A monstrous act against human dignity (…) moral condemnation for this reason must be total, above all in the name of reason and in the name of justice and science, which must be put at the service of man and respect human nature (…) experimentation on the living human being with its subsequent suppression until now had only been carried out in concentration camps, a fact that was condemned unanimously throughout the world. These experiments are prohibited by the Nuremberg Code and the Helsinki Declaration. It is important to emphasize that now that some laboratories are going to carry out them, it does not mean that they become licit”.

Statute of the International Criminal Court: “1. For the purpose of this Statute, “crime against humanity” means any of the following acts when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack: (…) f) Torture; (…) k) Other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health”.

Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Being Subjected to Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment: (torture is) “an offence to human dignity”.

International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY): (sanctions) “torture or inhumane treatments, even biological experiments (…) on persons”  “(Inhumane treatment is) any action or intentional omission, i.e., an act which, objectively, is deliberate and not accidental that causes serious mental damage or physical suffering or constitutes a serious attack on human dignity.”[16]

International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR): “(Article 4 of the Statute establishes that) “The International Tribunal for Rwanda shall have the power to prosecute (…) Violence to life, health and physical or mental well-being of persons, in particular murder as well as cruel treatment such as torture, mutilation or any form of corporal punishment (…) Outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment (…)”

Prosecutor v. Musema, First Instance Chamber of the ICTR: “(Atrocities against the dignity of the person) can be considered less serious forms of torture; even more, those in which it is not necessary to prove the existence of the reasons required for an act to constitute the crime of torture, or that it is not necessary for such acts to have been perpetrated by a state authority.”

Prosecutor v. Blaškic, First Chamber of ICTY: “(Violence against life, health or physical or mental integrity of persons) is contemplated in Article 3 (1) (a) common to the Geneva Conventions, (…) it is a broad crime that … includes homicide , Mutilation, inhuman treatment and torture, and which is therefore defined by an accumulation of elements specific to these crimes. The offense is related to those referred to in Article 2 (a) (intentional homicide), Article 2 (b) (inhuman treatment) and Article 2 (c) (serious injury to physical integrity) of the Statute.

Buddhist Tribunal on Human Rights (BTHR): According to the Statute of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), the crime of torture can be considered as part of the broader crime of violence against life.[17]

Prosecutor v. Vasiljevic: “(There are inhuman acts if the offender, at the time of the act or omission, was intended to cause serious physical or mental suffering or to seriously undermine the human dignity of the victim, or [was aware] that the act or omission would probably cause serious physical or mental suffering or would infringe upon the dignity of the person and [have acted] recklessly.”[18]

Prosecutor v. Akayesu, First Instance Chamber of ICTR: “(an inhuman act is) a serious injury to the physical or mental integrity that includes, among others, any act of torture, whether persecution, inhuman or degrading treatment or attempting against the physical or mental integrity of the person.”

Prosecutor v. Kayishema and Ruzindana: “(an inhumane act is) any injury that causes disfigurement, serious damage to health or to the senses or external [or] internal organs of a person.”


[1] National Geographic News, Animal-Human Hybrids Spark Controversy. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/01/0125_050125_chimeras.html

[2] Yaiza Martínez, Ratones cuatro veces más listos gracias a un implante de células del cerebro humano.  http://www.tendencias21.net/Ratones-cuatro-veces-mas-listos-gracias-a-un-implante-de-celulas-del-cerebro-humano_a39092.html

[3] Rick Weiss, Human Brain Cells Are Grown In Micehttp://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/12/AR2005121201388.html

[4] Erin Blakemore, Human-Pig Hybrid Created in the Lab—Here Are the Facts http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/01/human-pig-hybrid-embryo-chimera-organs-health-science/

[5] Sarah Knapton, Human-pig embryos created by scientists in breakthrough for organ transplants   http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/01/26/human-pig-hybrids-created-scientists-breakthrough-organ-transplants/

[6] C. Macdonald, Researchers reveal controversial experiments to grow part-animal part-human ‘Frankenstein’ organs for transplant patients are still going onhttp://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3599408/Researchers-reveal-controversial-experiments-grow-animal-human-Frankenstein-organs-transplant-patients-going-on.html#ixzz4WwNhe2cR

[7] F. J. León, Dignidad Humana, Libertad y Bioética, en “Persona y Bioética” núm. 1.

[8] J. González Pérez, La dignidad de la persona.

[9] Vid I. Bravo, La clonación de seres humanos a debate, “Mundo científico“, 1998

[10] Mercedes Alberruche Díaz-Flores. La clonación y selección de sexo.

[11] Habermas, El Futuro de la naturaleza humana. ¿Hacia una eugenesia liberal?

[12] R. Spaemann, Sobre el concepto de dignidad humana, en “Persona y Derecho“.

[13] A. M. González, Naturaleza y dignidad.

[14] B.M. Knoppers, L’integritá del patrimonio genetico: diritto sogetivo o diritto dell’Umanità , en “Politica del Diritto“.

[15] LYDIA FEITO GRANDE, Los derechos humanos y la ingeniería genética: la dignidad como clave.

[16] El Fiscal c. Delalic y otros (el caso Celebici) (1998), op. cit., párrafo 543. Ver también El Fiscal c. Kordic y Cerkez (2001), op. cit., párrafo 256; El Fiscal c. Kunarac, Kovac y Vukovic (2001), op. cit., párrafo 502.

[17] El Fiscal c. Ntakiruimana, Casos Nº TPIR-96-10 yTPIR-96-17-T, Sala I de Primera Instancia, sentencia del 21 de febrero de 2003, párrafo 859.

[18] Esta definición luego fue confirmada por la Sala de Primera Instancia en El Fiscal c. Simic, Tadic y Zaric (2003), op. cit., párrafo 76; El Fiscal c. Galic, Caso Nº IT-98.29-T, Sala I de Primera Instancia, sentencia del 5 de diciembre de 2003, párrafo 154; El Fiscal c. Dragomir Miloševic, Caso Nº IT-98-29/1, Sala III de Primera Instancia, sentencia del 12 de diciembre de 2007, párrafo 935.)



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