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The issue of combining animal-human material or producing animal-human entities has sparked philosophical, ethical, scientific and legal debate. The debate perhaps represents those natural emotions in human beings when embarking on a new discovery: curiosity, exploration, excitement and concern. What is not always considered is the metaphysical enquiry to this discussion. A being, whether human or animal, is multi-dimensional in nature yet its metaphysical processes pertaining to the soul and spirit appear to be largely ignored. Is there a purpose to its development? What happens to the identity and self-consciousness of a being when it is changed? It is these issues which will primarily be considered in this publication, particularly from the Shi'a Muslim perspective. As a secondary implication, the publication is suggestive of using a metaphysical approach in medical and bioethical decision-making.
Dr. Sibtain Panjwani (BDS, MA, PhD) is a lecturer in Islamic Ethics at the Islamic College, London. By profession, he is a practicing dental surgeon having obtained a Bachelors in dentistry from the University of Manchester. He obtained a Masters in Medical Ethics and Law at King's College London and then a PhD in Law from the University of Essex. He is a member of the 'End of Life' working group for the Scottish Council on Human Bioethics and lectures and writes on bioethics in Islam. Imranali Panjwani (LLB, BA, MA, PGDip) is the research co-ordinator for the Centre for Islamic Shi'a Studies, London. He obtained a law degree from the University of Sheffield and completed the legal practice course from the College of Law. Thereafter he underwent Islamic seminary training in Muslim Jurisprudence, Philosophy and Arabic from the hawza of Al-Mahdi Institute, Birmingham. He is now doing his PhD in Theology & Religious Studies at King's College London which focuses on applied metaphysics and ethics in human rights and international law.