Human Gene therapy: Scientific and ethical considerations

Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 10 (3):275-292 (1985)
types of application of genetic engineering for the insertion of genes into humans. The scientific requirements and the ethical issues associated with each type are discussed. Somatic cell gene therapy is technically the simplest and ethically the least controversial. The first clinical trials will probably be undertaken within the next year. Germ line gene therapy will require major advances in our present knowledge and it raises ethical issues that are now being debated. In order to provide guidelines for determining when germ line gene therapy would be ethical, the author presents three criteria which should be satisfied prior to the time that a clinical protocol is attempted in humans. Enhancement genetic engineering presents significant, and troubling, ethical concerns. Except where this type of therapy can be justified on the grounds of preventive medicine, enhancement engineering should not be performed. The fourth type, eugenic genetic engineering, is impossible at present and will probably remain so for the foreseeable future, despite the widespread media attention it has received. Keywords: genetic engineering, somatic cells, germ cells, enhancement, eugenics, humanhood CiteULike Connotea What's this?
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DOI 10.1093/jmp/10.3.275
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