Designer Babies: Evaluating the Ethics of Human Gene Editing


  • Rebecca Steynberg


The development of CRISPR-Cas9, the world’s most advanced gene editing tool, continues to astonish scientific and medical communities with its unbelievable potential to eradicate thousands of diseases and save countless lives. The concept of editing a person’s DNA does however raise concerns on the relatedness of gene therapies to eugenicist practices. Following the births of genetically modified babies in China, the World Health Organization and other global health commissions faced the challenge of creating regulatory frameworks to monitor and advise countries on the safe and ethical use of gene therapies. This case study examines the ethical implications of CRISPR-Cas9 therapies, its potential to cure disease and the risks associated with the application and commercialization of gene-editing technologies, for exacerbating inequality and discrimination.


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