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AMA J Ethics. 2019 Dec 1;21(12):E1105-1110. doi: 10.1001/amajethics.2019.1105.

Genome Editing, Ethics, and Politics.

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A postdoctoral fellow in Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications of Genetics and Genomics in the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
The David and Lyn Silfen University Professor at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.


For the better part of a dozen years and over 3 US presidential terms, heated debates about the ethics of cloning and embryonic stem cell research helped to define the American political landscape. Current lack of public controversy about regulation of human genome editing does not signal that ethical issues about engineering human embryos have been settled. Rather, while genome editing raises old ethical questions about the value of human life, eugenics, and the weight of unintended consequences, it also came into being in a political landscape that vastly differs from the early aughts when bioethics was last a major topic of political controversy.

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