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Reassess the law and ethics of heritable genome editing interventions: lessons for China and the world

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-06-12, 09:17 authored by Qingxiu BuQingxiu Bu
The current ethical and legal standards for human subjects research cannot adequately address human gene editing technologies, since scientific advancements in this field have outpaced regulatory policy. The Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) allows the rewriting of life’s code that is fraught with scientific and ethical quandaries. In particular, the genetic alteration of human embryos in vitro in China has caused worldwide repercussions. It is hard to predict the long-term effects of proposed edits, which raises an inquiry about whether it is appropriate for humans to purposely alter any aspect of their genetic future. Genome editing is moving too quickly for processes of critical reflection, such as law and regulation, to keep pace. The ethical, legal and social implications of the use of these technologies in humans remain uncertain. The resultant tension with existing framework that calls into question the underlying values on which moral and legal norms repose. This study explores the significant implications for law, ethics, regulation and health policy. To balance potential benefits against the risk of unintended harms will shape perspectives on whether and how to use these technologies. Responsible engagement with decision makers and stakeholders, among other things, will promote transparency, confer legitimacy, and improve policy making.


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