Germ-Line Gene Therapy and the Medical Imperative

Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 2 (2):137-158 (1992)
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Abstract

Somatic cell gene therapy has yielded promising results. If germ cell gene therapy can be developed, the promise is even greater: hundreds of genetic diseases might be virtually eliminated. But some claim the procedure is morally unacceptable. We thoroughly and sympathetically examine several possible reasons for this claim but find them inadequate. There is no moral reason, then, not to develop and employ germ-line gene therapy. Taking the offensive, we argue next that medicine has a prima facie moral obligation to do so.

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