“If you prick us, do we not bleed?” — William Shakespeare, Act III, Scene I, “The Merchant of Venice.”
The answer to the question, the plaintive plea of Shylock for the recognition of his shared humanity, is, of course, “yes.” It’s a universal human characteristic. Even still in the womb, a few weeks old, our hearts are beating rhythmically and blood courses throughout our tiny, still-developing bodies. Prick us then, and we will bleed.
But what if the question is phrased, “If you prick us, do we not feel pain?”