The Lumbering Crawl Toward Human Germline Editing image

Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, January 10, 2019
by Eli Y. Adashi and I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)

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It is in the nature of novelty that consensus is hard to come by. Such is clearly the lot of groundbreaking biomedical advances. History is no stranger to this phenomenon. The prospect of human germ-line editing is no exception. A fine illustration as any of this state of affairs is offered by Professor Drabiak in this issue of the Journal of Law, Medicine, & Ethics.1 Squarely on the side of the skeptics, Professor Drabiak carefully lays out the relative shortcomings of the technology in question.1 Our main focus is to complement Professor Drabiak's extensive account by highlighting the present state of the science of human germline editing. No judgement is being passed on the notion of human germline editing nor on the potential application thereof — we have discussed our own views in depth elsewhere.2 Instead, we lay out the state of the science replete with the hindrances that would have to be overcome if human germline editing is to become a clinical reality. In this context, we highlight select areas wherein Professor Drabiak's arguments could be further elaborated:

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bioethics crispr genetics health law policy i. glenn cohen regulation