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What (or sometimes who) are organoids? And whose are they?
  1. Andrea Lavazza
  1. Correspondence to Dr Andrea Lavazza, Centro Universitario Internazionale, Arezzo 52100, Italy; lavazza67{at}


In terms of ethical implications, Boers, van Delden and Bredenoord (2018) have made an interesting step forward with their model of organoids as hybrids, which seeks to find a balance between subject-like value and object-like value. Their framework aims to introduce effective procedures not to exploit donors and to increase their engagement, but it does not seem to take sufficient account of how organoids are used and how donors and society as a whole may want to act about such uses. I will concentrate my remarks on three points that I consider relevant. The first comment concerns the so-called mini-brains. The second one is related to the issue of consent and long-term ‘control’ over the organic material granted by donors. The last comment focuses on ‘genetic minorities’.

  • chimeras
  • clinical trials
  • donation/procurement of organs/tissues
  • neuroethics
  • stem cell research

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  • Contributors AZ is the sole author of the paper.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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