Journal of Medical Ethics 45 (8):530-531 (2019)

Heritable genome editing is officially here. ‘Lulu’ and ‘Nana’, born in China, are the first children whose genomes have been intentionally modified. A third gene edited baby may have already been born. Scientists in Russia are planning similar applications.1 We recently argued that HGE should be judged by the same ethical standards that we apply to other technologies.2 There is a moral imperative to improve the health of future generations, to reduce inequalities and improve standards of living. If we can use HGE to achieve these aims, we should. We want to thank Sarah Chan, Peter Mills, Rachel Horton and Anneke Lucassen for their thoughtful criticisms of our paper. We would also like to thank the editors of the Journal of Medical Ethics for helping facilitate this detailed discussion. The moral questions posed by HGE, are complex, multifaceted and difficult. They required focused attention, which formats like this encourage. Our responses to each of the commentaries are detailed below We agree with the following points made in Horton and Lucassen’s paper ‘ The moral argument for heritable genome editing requires an inappropriately deterministic view of genetics ’.3 These are some of the reasons why we say HGE targeting polygenic diseases is likely decades away.2 The technical challenges seem daunting. But science can move quickly, and often does so in bounds. Our capacity to capture and analyse genetic data is rapidly expanding. Over the next 5 years, genomic …
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DOI 10.1136/medethics-2019-105713
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The Ethics of Germline Gene Editing.Gyngell Christopher, Douglas Thomas & Savulescu Julian - 2017 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 34 (4):498-513.

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