Yesterday, the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies (EGE) and the WHO’s Advisory Committee on Human Genome Editing convened for a session of exchange on the application of new genome editing technologies in humans. The two high-level bodies currently work on challenging ethical questions arising with the development of new precision technologies in the field.
Can and should these technologies be used to eradicate genetic diseases? How safe are they and what kind of research on them can be conducted? What possibilities do they offer for human enhancement and what dangers does this pose to equality and diversity in human societies, and even further, to humanness and naturalness? Ultimately, how should research on and application of genome editing be regulated on the global level and locally?
The EGE has been exploring these questions and will issue an Opinion on ethical aspects of genome editing in humans, animals and plants in the first weeks of 2021. The WHO Committee is working on guidance on the governance of human genome editing. The exchange of the two groups was fruitful, with proposed courses of action and options for recommendations reviewed and their efforts, in what is a particularly difficult field, respectively appreciated and encouraged.
- Publication date
- 3 December 2020
- Directorate-General for Research and Innovation