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DNA editing with tweezers

At its 18th plenary meeting (1-4 June 2021), the Committee on Bioethics of the Council of Europe adopted the following conclusions regarding genome editing technologies:

“In accordance with its Statement on genome editing technologies adopted in December 2015 and its Strategic Action Plan on Human Rights and Technologies in Biomedicine (2020-2025); the Committee on Bioethics (DH-BIO) examined Article 13 of the Oviedo Convention in the light of developments in human genome editing.

Taking into account the technical and scientific aspects of these developments as well as the ethical issues they raise, it considered that the conditions were not met for a modification of the provisions of Article 13.

However, it agreed on the need to provide clarifications, in particular on the terms “preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic” and to avoid misinterpretation of the applicability of this provision to “research”.”

As underlined by the DH-BIO in November 2018, ethics and human rights must guide any use of genome editing technologies in human beings in accordance with the Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine (“the Oviedo Convention”, 1997) - the only... see more