Gene therapy revolution must address new ethical questions

[In 2015], the United States federal budget included a rider banning certain types of gene therapy research, and that has some in the scientific community worried.

Right off, this issue evokes the similarly US-led bans on embryonic stem cell research — but this is an imperfect comparison…[T]he arguments against [embryonic stem cell research] centered on moral and religious arguments, not practical or scientific ones…

The embryonic stem cell issue is largely dead at this point because it has been made irrelevant by technology…Yet with gene editing, the issue is slightly different. There are definitely moral qualms about gene editing being wrong, about it “playing God” or something equally meaningless, but there’s…a belief that gene therapies simply won’t have the intended effect…In the eyes of mostly conservative legislators, this is an unacceptable risk.

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The argument to be made for gene therapy can’t simply reply on its medical potential. It has to be proven to be capable of supporting truly ethical research or simply give up on the idea of convincing conservatives.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: The gene therapy revolution is coming. Will the US get left behind?

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