Moral reasons to edit the human genome: picking up from the Nuffield report
AuthorGyngell, C; Bowman-Smart, H; Savulescu, J
Source TitleJournal of Medical Ethics
PublisherBMJ PUBLISHING GROUP
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsGyngell, C., Bowman-Smart, H. & Savulescu, J. (2019). Moral reasons to edit the human genome: picking up from the Nuffield report. JOURNAL OF MEDICAL ETHICS, 45 (8), pp.514-523. https://doi.org/10.1136/medethics-2018-105084.
Access StatusOpen Access
In July 2018, the Nuffield Council of Bioethics released its long-awaited report on heritable genome editing (HGE). The Nuffield report was notable for finding that HGE could be morally permissible, even in cases of human enhancement. In this paper, we summarise the findings of the Nuffield Council report, critically examine the guiding principles they endorse and suggest ways in which the guiding principles could be strengthened. While we support the approach taken by the Nuffield Council, we argue that detailed consideration of the moral implications of genome editing yields much stronger conclusions than they draw. Rather than being merely 'morally permissible', many instances of genome editing will be moral imperatives.
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