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In July 2018, the Nuffield Council of Bioethics released its long-awaited report on heritable genome editing (HGE). The Nuffield report was notable for finding that HGE could be morally permissible, even in cases of human enhancement. In this paper, we summarise the findings of the Nuffield Council report, critically examine the guiding principles they endorse and suggest ways in which the guiding principles could be strengthened. While we support the approach taken by the Nuffield Council, we argue that detailed consideration of the moral implications of genome editing yields much stronger conclusions than they draw. Rather than being merely 'morally permissible', many instances of genome editing will be moral imperatives.

Original publication

DOI

10.1136/medethics-2018-105084

Type

Journal article

Journal

J Med Ethics

Publication Date

08/2019

Volume

45

Pages

514 - 523

Keywords

autonomy, distributive justice, enhancement, genetic engineering, informed consent, Advisory Committees, Bioethics, Embryonic Germ Cells, Ethics Committees, Female, Gene Editing, Gene Targeting, Genetic Enhancement, Genome, Human, Humans, Morals, Pregnancy, Reproductive Techniques, Assisted