Real promise of ‘gene editing’ is ethical therapy for those born with conditions that have no cure

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Professor David Albert Jones, Director of The Anscombe Bioethics Centre in Oxford, has made a comment on so-called ‘gene editing’:

“Gene editing should be carried out only where it is safe and beneficial for the individual patient and not where it aims to affect future generations.

“The real promise of ‘gene editing’ techniques is the hope of ethical and effective therapy of children or adults who were born with conditions that currently have no cure.

“Research should focus on development of safe and effective somatic gene therapy not on yet more destructive experimentation on human embryos.

“Experiments to edit the genes of human embryos represent a further step towards the creation of Genetically Modified (GM) babies. This move is only the latest step after attempts to clone human embryos, to create human-animal hybrid embryos and to create three parent embryos.

“Each step has been accompanied by exaggerated promises to cure or prevent diseases but the real result is simply more unethical experimentation on human beings at the earliest stage of their development.”

Prof David Albert Jones
The Anscombe Bioethics Centre