Future of global regulation of human genome editing: a South African perspective on the WHO Draft Governance Framework on Human Genome Editing

Journal of Medical Ethics 48 (3):165-168 (2022)
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WHO in 2019 established the Advisory Committee on Developing Global Standards for Governance and Oversight of Human Genome Editing, which has recently published a Draft Governance Framework on Human Genome Editing. Although the Draft Framework is a good point of departure, there are four areas of concern: first, it does not sufficiently address issues related to establishing safety and efficacy. Second, issues that are a source of tension between global standard setting and state sovereignty need to be addressed in a more nuanced fashion. Third, it fails to meaningfully engage with the extent to which the conceptualisation of human dignity may justifiably vary between jurisdictions. Fourth, the meaning of harm to the interests of a future person requires clarity. Provided these four areas of concern can be addressed, the future of the global governance of human genome editing may hold promise.

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Bonginkosi Shozi
University of California, San Diego
Beverley Alice Townsend
University of York

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