A British academic has criticised the Australian ethicist Peter Singer for claiming that HIV research should be conducted on brain damaged humans.

Peter Singer, professor of bioethics at Princeton University in the USA is best known for his controversial views on bestiality, euthanasia and disability. In June he suggested that HIV research should be conducted on people in a persistent vegetative state as they are will not suffer because they are “beyond consciousness.”

Professor Singer justified these views by claiming that “HIV research using chimps has not been very helpful as they don’t seem to get the disease in the same way humans do.”

Peter Byrne, professor of ethics at King’s College, London told PinkNews.co.uk that Professor Singer’s views were “a violation of well established and widespread ethics and law on medical research, that such (non-therapeutic) procedures cannot be undertaken on non-consenting human subjects.”

He added:”the notion of the equal dignity of all human beings gets ever stronger with the growing influence of human rights legislation and jurisprudence.”

He did however concede that HIV testing on animals may be immoral.”It does not follow that only human beings are worthy of respect. Not all animals may be so worthy.”

This article first appeared in The Pink News