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Ethics in Biology, Engineering and Medicine: An International Journal
SJR: 0.123

ISSN Print: 2151-805X
ISSN Online: 2151-8068

Ethics in Biology, Engineering and Medicine: An International Journal

DOI: 10.1615/EthicsBiologyEngMed.2015014314
pages 57-66

The Medical Case for Gene Editing

Julian Savulescu
Uehiro Centre For Practical Ethics, University of Oxford, Oxford Oxon, United Kingdom
Christopher Gyngell
Uehiro Centre For Practical Ethics, University of Oxford, Oxford Oxon, United Kingdom

ABSTRACT

Recently developed gene editing techniques are the first genetic engineering technologies to have serious potential as a clinically useful modifier of human DNA. Some are against using these technologies on human embryos even in the context of preventing genetic disease. One of the reasons given for this stance is that there is no medical justification for using gene editing when genetic selection is available. In this paper we argue this claim is false and that there is a strong medical justification for pursing gene editing. We outline our case for single gene disorders and polygenetic disorders. We also discuss how the ethical risks involved in gene editing research could be effectively managed.