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Persons, post-persons and thresholds
  1. James Wilson
  1. Correspondence to Dr James Wilson, University College London, Centre for Philosophy, Justice and Health, Comprehensive Biomedical Research Centre (1st Floor Maple House), Ground Floor, Rosenheim Building, London WC1E 6DB, UK; james-gs.wilson{at}


DeGrazia argues that post-persons have as much justification in believing that they have higher moral status than persons as persons have in believing that they have higher moral status than animals. DeGrazia's claim presupposes that what Buchanan calls the “moral equality assumption” is false. This article argues that DeGrazia has given us no reason to disbelieve the moral equality assumption. Further, even if DeGrazia's arguments about moral status were sound, it is unclear that his first-order normative claims about how we should weigh human against animal interests would follow.

  • Informed consent
  • translational research
  • justice in healthcare
  • moral theory
  • public health

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  • Linked article 100126.

  • Funding UCLH/UCL Biomedical Research Centre.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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