Regulating Human Germline Genome Editing: Medical Counseling, Ethical Permissibility, and Potentially Grave Threats.
Gene editing is more coherent, technically more manageable, can be rearranged swiftly, and is rather affordable in comparison with the automation of zinc finger nuclease and transcription factor-like effector nucleases. (Kuo, 2019) Given that gene editing technologies have redesigned genetic engineering and are advanced to a greater extent, the significant risks will be better assessable. (Koplin et al., 2019) In a postgenomic perspective of germline editing, a wide-ranging interdiction on definite applications of the technology is justified (Androniceanu, 2017; Caruso et al., 2017; Ionescu, 2018; Mirica (Dumitrescu), 2018; Orazulike, 2018; Radulescu, 2017; Stewart and Mika, 2017), as the research required to evaluate the reliability of such intrusions would not be morally sound. (Guttinger, 2019)
2. Conceptual Framework and Literature Review
Employing CRISPR/Cas9 for human embryo genome editing may discontinue genetic diseases from being passed down to the future generation. (Taguchi et al., 2019) The likelihood of genome editing to disallow hereditary diseases, if established as free from danger, benefits from broad public support, while there is influential resistance to editing genomes to improve human characteristics. The dominant defense against unacceptable genome editing is the improbability of determining features (e.g. intelligence) which take shape from intricate interactions (Bratu, 2018; Drugau-Constantin, 2018; Lazaroiu, 2018; Nica, 2017a, b; Popescu Ljungholm, 2017; Radulescu, 2018; Tanankem Voufo et al., 2017) among various genes and settings. (Daley et al., 2019) Germline editing brings about alterations that an individual's children can inherit, in contrast with ones that cannot be transmitted to next generations. The likelihood of purposefully modifying descendants' genes is troublesome as regards early-stage embryo gene editing. (Greely, 2019)
3. Methodology and Empirical Analysis
Using and replicating data from Pew Research Center, I performed analyses and made estimates regarding U.S. adults who say changing a baby's genetic characteristics for certain reasons is an (in)appropriate use of medical technology (%) and U.S. adults who say gene editing giving healthy babies a much reduced risk of serious diseases and conditions is no different than other ways we try to better ourselves/crosses a line, meddling with nature (%). Data were analyzed using structural equation modeling.
4. Results and Discussion
The genetics breakthrough has lead to human genomes being sequenced and numerous of the molecular processes grasped, while genomic editing technologies have advanced. Genome editing should not be employed in human embryos for clinical reasons. (Harper and Schatten, 2019) Genome editing may bring about both enormous therapeutic potentiality and relevant likely risk. Sickle cell disease represents a first-rate choice for the clinical implementations of this tool, but there is insufficient understanding of patient community values and issues in relation to CRISPR-mediated somatic genome editing clinical trials. (Persaud et al., 2019) Dignity matters do not legitimize a wide-ranging interdiction on free from danger heritable genome editing, while necessarily reporting the carrying out of side constraints to set out that the value judgments concerning human characteristics (Burwell et al., 2018; Faggianelli et al., 2018; Mircica, 2018; Murali, 2018; Nica and Taylor, 2017; Ralston et al., 2018; Schinckus, 2018; Thiel, 2017) that are intrinsic in such routine do not cause a decreased basic consideration for individuals affected by them. (Segers and Mertes, 2019) (Tables 1-8)
5. Conclusions and Implications
Medicinal products derived from genome editing should be subjected to meticulous preclinical evaluation and undergo regulatory supervision for accurate risk appraisal in advance of initial assessment in humans. (Cathomen et al., 2019) Whether gene editing puts forward any essentially additional or distinct ethical concerns than those brought about by previous gene-altering technologies is unpredictable, particularly with reference to genetic germline changes in humans. (Lysaght, 2019) Notwithstanding the materialization of CRISPR, reliable and adequate gene editing for human improvement is out of reach of the present technological performance. If the genetic breakthroughs continually improve each year, consequently the betterments provided to individuals delivered in any specified year will swiftly become superseded. (Sparrow, 2019)
This paper was supported by Grant GE-1843758 from the Social Analytics Laboratory, Los Angeles, CA.
The author confirms being the sole contributor of this work and approved it for publication.
Conflict of Interest Statement
The author declares that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.
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University of Craiova, Romania
Received 19 March 2019
Accepted 23 July 2019
Table 1 U.S. adults in each religious commitment group who say changing a baby's genetic characteristics for each of the following reasons is ... (%) Treat a serious disease or condition the baby would have at birth Taking medical technology Appropriate use of medical too far technology High 42 58 Medium 29 71 Low 19 81 Reduce risk of a serious disease or condition that could occur over their lifetime Taking medical technology Appropriate use of medical too far technology High 51 49 Medium 42 58 Low 24 76 Make the baby more intelligent Taking medical technology Appropriate use of medical too far technology High 89 11 Medium 80 20 Low 69 31 Sources: Pew Research Center; my survey among 6,400 individuals conducted January 2019. Table 2 U.S. adults who say changing a baby's genetic characteristics for each of the following reasons is an appropriate use of medical technology (%) Changing a baby's genetic characteristics Women Men To treat a serious disease/condition the baby 66 72 would have at birth To reduce risk of a serious disease/condition 53 62 that could occur over their lifetime To make the baby more intelligent 15 21 Gene editing to change a baby's genetic characteristics If it required testing on human embryos to 22 39 develop these techniques Sources: Pew Research Center; my survey among 6,400 individuals conducted January 2019. Table 3 U.S. adults who say... is likely to happen if gene editing giving babies a much reduced disease risk (%) Possible negative outcomes This option will be used before we fully understand the effects 70 Inequality will increase; will only be available to the wealthy 64 People who have had this will feel superior to those who do not 51 Possible positive outcomes People who have had this will feel more confident about themselves 49 People who have had this will be more productive at their jobs 31 Widespread use will lead to new innovation and problem solving 46 Sources: Pew Research Center; my survey among 6,400 individuals conducted January 2019. Table 4 U.S. adults who say that if development of gene editing required testing on human embryos, it would be... (%) Taking medical technology too far 69 Appropriate use of medical technology 31 Sources: Pew Research Center; my survey among 6,400 individuals conducted January 2019. Table 5 U.S. adults who say that if development of gene editing required testing on human embryos, it would be... (%) Appropriate use of Taking medical medical technology technology too far U.S. adults 31 69 Religious affiliation Protestant 23 77 White evangelical 10 90 White mainline 29 71 Black Protestant 26 74 Catholic 29 71 White Catholic 27 73 Hispanic Catholic 26 74 Unaffiliated 48 52 Atheist 77 23 Agnostic 54 46 Nothing in particular 40 60 Race/Ethnicity White 36 64 Black 28 72 Hispanic 30 70 Sources: Pew Research Center; my survey among 6,400 individuals conducted January 2019. Table 6 U.S. adults who say gene editing giving babies reduced risk of serious diseases would be an appropriate use of technology (%) If it resulted in people... Far healthier than any human known to date 38 Much healthier than the average person today 50 Always equally healthy as the average person today 51 Sources: Pew Research Center; my survey among 6,400 individuals conducted January 2019. Table 7 U.S. adults who say that gene editing giving babies a much reduced disease risk... (%) Is no different than other ways we try to better ourselves 56 Crosses a line, meddling with nature 44 Sources: Pew Research Center; my survey among 6,400 individuals conducted January 2019. Table 8 U.S. adults who say gene editing giving healthy babies a much reduced risk of serious diseases and conditions... (%) is no different than other ways we try to better ourselves U.S. adults 49 Protestant 41 Catholic 42 Unaffiliated 62 White evangelical Protestant 32 White mainline Protestant 51 Black Protestant 44 White Catholic 41 Hispanic Catholic 42 Atheist 78 Agnostic 77 Nothing in particular 53 White 49 Black 46 Hispanic 38 crosses a line, meddling with nature U.S. adults 51 Protestant 59 Catholic 58 Unaffiliated 38 White evangelical Protestant 68 White mainline Protestant 49 Black Protestant 56 White Catholic 59 Hispanic Catholic 58 Atheist 22 Agnostic 23 Nothing in particular 47 White 51 Black 54 Hispanic 62 Sources: Pew Research Center; my survey among 6,400 individuals conducted January 2019.
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|Publication:||Review of Contemporary Philosophy|
|Date:||Jan 1, 2019|
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