For our final assignment, we were given a lot of freedom to choose our own topics. We were asked to analyze a debate over a controversial topic in medicine and provide a commentary on the debate and how it reflects our values as a society. In my initial search for topics, I ran into the topic of chimeras, which immediately sparked my interest. From my background research, it became clear that chimera research had tremendous potential, and that the benefits from studying chimeras would be readily applicable to current problems.

Yet, although I see myself as a very open-minded person, I had an inexplicable disdain of this idea despite knowing the benefits chimeras could bring. Part of what drove me to dig deeper into the subject was to find out what made me feel such an admittedly irrational dislike of such a promising field. In a way, that made the research more personal and helped motivate me throughout my research. Eventually, I started looking into philosophical arguments about ethics and morals and a lot of concepts that I can not really grasp, which was challenging. Eventually, I had to stick to a few simple points that I mostly understood, and that ultimately helped focus my paper and make it easier to read.

JIELIN YU is a member of the CAS Class of 2013 from Newton, MA, majoring in Undeclared with a minor in Undeclared. He is also struggling to decide between pursuing a career in veterinary medicine and a career in people medicine. This essay was written for Rebecca Kinraide’s course, WR 150: Debates in the History of Medicine.