Cátedra UNESCO de Bioética



"Germline genome editing: Moratorium, hard law, or an informed adaptive consensus?"

PLOS Genetics

With the development of practical means of human germline genome editing (HGGE) in recent years, there have been calls for stricter regulation and oversight over HGGE interventions with potential for heritable changes in the germline. An international moratorium has been advocated. We examine the practicality of such a proposal, as well as of a regulation through the “traditional” mechanisms of international and municipal laws. We argue that these mechanisms are unlikely to achieve their intended objectives and that the better approach is to engage the international community of stakeholders, researchers, scientists, clinicians, and other workers directly involved in the field in working toward the development of an “informed adaptive consensus”. We offer suggestions as to how this may be achieved and how existing indirect levers of regulation may be harnessed toward this end.