Gene Editing in Humans: Towards a Global and Inclusive Debate for Responsible Research

Yale J Biol Med. 2017 Dec 19;90(4):673-681. eCollection 2017 Dec.


In December 2016, the Opinion Group of the Bioethics and Law Observatory (OBD) of the University of Barcelona launched a Declaration on Bioethics and Gene Editing in Humans analyzing the use of genome editing techniques and their social, ethical, and legal implications through a multidisciplinary approach. It focuses on CRISPR/Cas9, a genome modification technique that enables researchers to edit specific sections of the DNA sequence of humans and other living beings. This technique has generated expectations and worries that deserve an interdisciplinary analysis and an informed social debate. The research work developed by the OBD presents a set of recommendations addressed to different stakeholders and aims at being a tool to learn more about CRISPR/Cas9 while finding an appropriate ethical and legal framework for this new technology. This article gathers and compares reports that have been published in Europe and the USA since the OBD Declaration. It aims at being a tool to foster a global and interdisciplinary discussion of this new genome editing technology.

Keywords: CRISPR; Ethics; Gene editing; Responsible Research.

MeSH terms

  • Bioethics
  • Biomedical Research / ethics*
  • CRISPR-Cas Systems*
  • European Union
  • Gene Editing / ethics*
  • Humans
  • United States