The ethics of gene therapy

Curr Opin Mol Ther. 2006 Oct;8(5):377-83.


Recent developments have progressed in areas of science that pertain to gene therapy and its ethical implications. This review discusses the current state of therapeutic gene technologies, including stem cell therapies and genetic modification, and identifies ethical issues of concern in relation to the science of gene therapy and its application, including the ethics of embryonic stem cell research and therapeutic cloning, the risks associated with gene therapy, and the ethics of clinical research in developing new therapeutic technologies. Additionally, ethical issues relating to genetic modification itself are considered: the significance of the human genome, the distinction between therapy and enhancement, and concerns regarding gene therapy as a eugenic practice.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Embryo Research / ethics
  • Genetic Engineering / ethics
  • Genetic Enhancement / ethics
  • Genetic Therapy / ethics*
  • Humans