Of note, he is only producing animals with a human pancreas, so the ethical concerns are very diminished.
However, it is not hard to imagine creating a pig, for example, with a human brain. This is not considered ethical, nor is it allowed by this approval. It seems, however, within reach of current technology. What are we to make of a pig with a human brain? Would he be human? Would she have a sense of personhood?
Last year at the Science for Seminaries event on neuroscience and youth ministry at Nazarene Theological Seminary there was an interesting discussion about this. Scientists are getting good at growing tissues (organ-on-a-chip, etc.) so part of the discussion was to think about growing a single human neuron inside of a pig. Is the pig human? No, of course not. So what if we grew a thousand human neurons inside the pig, is that human? No again. What if we replaced all (~2 billion) of the pigs neurons with human ones? Hmm, that seems tricky. Could you have a human brain inside the body of a pig?
The thought experiment was used to illustrate the complexity of thinking about brain/mind/human but I think it also raises ethical issues around cutting edge neuroscience research.
It’s more likely that there would be a sense of pighood.
Dare I say she would be Some Pig!