What Happened to Concerns About Human Enhancement?
By R. Jean Cadigan, Margaret Waltz, Rebecca Walker, Rami Major and Incidental Enhancements Research Group,
The Hastings Center: Bioethics Forum
| 04. 25. 2023
Prominent science policy reports that set the stage for the recent Third International Summit on Human Genome Editing all raise questions about human enhancement. Enhancement concerns also consistently loom large in public attitudes on possible uses of these genomic technologies. It may seem surprising, then, that enhancement received little formal attention at the Summit. Instead, the Summit focused elsewhere–on issues of access to emerging forms of somatic cell genome editing for genetic disease. Here we report our observations on the Summit’s de-emphasis of enhancement questions and suggest some consequences of continuing this trend in subsequent science policy deliberations.
Despite its absence from the Summit’s agenda, the topic of genome editing for human enhancement did spontaneously bubble up at the meeting in interesting ways. On the first day, outside the Summit’s venue, London’s Francis Crick Institute, protesters passed out pamphlets titled “Stop Designer Babies.” At first it seemed as if the protest would succeed in making enhancement an important topic at the Summit. In the opening session, Robin Lovell-Badge, chair of the Summit’s organizing committee, referenced the protesters and also noted... see more
"Human Egg" by euthman is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
In late April, the National Academies held a three-day workshop on In Vitro Derived Human Gametes as a Reproductive Technology
. Experts from a broad range of fields commented on the fast-developing science, its potential applications in assisted reproduction, and its social implications. Despite a focus on the significant technical challenges that remain in developing these techniques and the notable inclusion of several critical voices, the overall...
By CGS Staff
On May 4, the Center for Genetics and Society contributed invited remarks about heritable gene editing at a comment session hosted by the National Council on Disability (NCD), the US federal agency that advises government and the private sector on disability policy. Some 17 speakers, including representatives of disability and patient advocacy organizations, scholars, medical researchers, and genetic counselors, weighed in for three minutes each on the topic “Germline editing, fetal medicine, and their impact on people with disabilities.”
Adapted from Mitochondrial DNA at
National Human Genome Research Institute
The Guardian reports that “a small number of babies” with DNA from three people have now been born in the UK. The exact number has not been disclosed; it is less than five but more than one. The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), the government agency that regulates the process, revealed that much in response to a freedom of information request, and noted in a rather terse statement that...
By Carolyn Y. Johnson, The Washington Post | 04.28.2023
DACULA, Ga. — For as long as he can remember, Jimi Olaghere felt he was destined to be a father. “It’s so true in my soul,” he told his wife, Amanda, when they struggled to get pregnant. But when they...