Navonim - The Ramblings of Garnel Ironheart

Navonim - The Ramblings of Garnel Ironheart

Sunday, 4 July 2010

A Theoretical Question

While attending a conference on Medical Halacha is both enjoyable and educating, it also brings up questions that might not be the most practical.  Specifically:
Given all the halachic uncertainty around artificial insemination and genetic transfer as it affects lineage, inheritance, etc., there is an opinion that a being follows the species origin of the uterus it came out of.  In other words, if a sheep gives birth to a baby that looks like a pig, that baby is still considered kosher because it is technically a sheep.
Now, if one takes a fertilized sheep ovum, removes the DNA and replaces it with DNA from a human fertilized ovum and then replants it into the sheep's uterus, the subsequent progeny (assuming a successful pregnancy) might look and act like a human baby but according to the aforementioned opinion it would be considered a sheep.  As a result, this baby could, in theory, serve as the entree at its own Pidyon HaBen!
Here's the question: If this occurs, does the genetic human father of the entree now have an obligation of goel hadam against the shochet?  And if he participates in the seudas mitzvah, does that affect his obligation?


Jennifer in MamaLand said...

Um, ew.

Dr Mike said...

Garnel, if the child was considered a sheep it wouldn't be eligible for a pidyon haben. However, if it was a bechor it could be offered as a sacrifice. If that's the case, would the genetic father have the goel hadam obligation against the kohen who slaughters the bechor? What if the kohen who's the bechor is also the genetic father? Does he have an obligation to kill himself?

Anonymous said...

Sheer rubbish