Welcome to Ethics Consult — an opportunity to discuss, debate (respectfully), and learn together. We select an ethical dilemma from a true, but anonymized, patient care case. You vote on your decision in the case and, next week, we’ll reveal how you all made the call. Bioethicist Jacob M. Appel, MD, JD, will also weigh in with an ethical framework to help you learn and prepare.

The following case is adapted from Appel’s 2019 book, Who Says You’re Dead? Medical & Ethical Dilemmas for the Curious & Concerned.

Researchers in the Alps have discovered the remains of a Neanderthal frozen and preserved in glacial ice there. With the help of fertility specialists, they are able to extract DNA from the sperm of this preserved prehuman. Their hope is to infuse his DNA into Homo sapiens sperm and use that sperm cell to fertilize a human egg. They have already recruited a female scientist who is willing to attempt to bring such an embryo to term in her womb.

Read more here.