Viewpoint: Why CRISPR embryo editing is not ‘morally urgent’: No one has to have a child

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
gene involved in embryo development identified using crisprcas
Image: Technology Networks
[He Jiankui’s CRISPR babies] brought to the surface common misunderstandings — even among scientists and ethicists — that reproductive uses of this genome-modifying tool have therapeutic value, will treat people with genetic disorders, will save lives, and will eradicate disease. None of those are true.

Imagine an individual or couple at high risk for creating a child with a serious genetic disease. They have the following simplified range of options:

Create a genetically related child in the time-honored fashion who will be at high risk for the genetic disease.

Create a genetically related child using CRISPR who will be at very low risk for the genetic disease.

Related article:  Will we see illegal CRISPR IVF clinics in the US? Experts weigh in

Create no genetically related child.

The existence of option C undermines the claim that rCRISPR applications are lifesaving or curative.

Individuals have a choice in the matter of creating children at high risk of genetic disease: They can choose option C. Here is a different way of seeing the point that rCRISPR is not morally urgent because it does not involve a child whose existence, or illness, is inevitable.

Read full, original post: Using CRISPR to edit eggs, sperm, or embryos does not save lives

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
GLP Podcasts
Infographic: Trending green and going great — Every state in the US seeing decreased cases of COVID

Infographic: Trending green and going great — Every state in the US seeing decreased cases of COVID

The U.S. averaged fewer than 40,000 new cases per day over the past week. That’s a 21% improvement over the ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

* indicates required
Email Lists