Improving the justice-based argument for conducting human gene editing research to cure sickle cell disease

Bioethics. 2020 Feb;34(2):200-202. doi: 10.1111/bioe.12690. Epub 2019 Nov 7.


In a recent article, Marilyn Baffoe-Bonnie offers three arguments that conducting CRISPR/Cas9 biotechnology research to cure sickle cell disease (SCD) would help address historical and current injustices in SCD research and care. I will grant that the first argument is sound, but show that the second and third arguments suffer from roughly the same defect, which is that they really argue for something else rather than for conducting CRISPR/Cas9 research to cure SCD. I conclude that a better justice-based argument would use only Baffoe-Bonnie's first argument.

Keywords: CRISPR; benefit-sharing; biotechnology; distributive justice; gene therapy; sickle cell disease.

Publication types

  • Comment

MeSH terms

  • Anemia, Sickle Cell*
  • CRISPR-Cas Systems
  • Gene Editing*
  • Humans
  • Social Justice