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The Ethical Issues in Genome Editing and a Review of Korea’s Bioethics and Biosafety Act

  • Korean Journal of Medical Ethics
  • Abbr : 의료윤리
  • 2017, 20(2), pp.206-218
  • DOI : 10.35301/ksme.2017.20.2.206
  • Publisher : The Korean Society For Medical Ethics
  • Research Area : Medicine and Pharmacy > General Medicine
  • Received : June 1, 2017
  • Accepted : June 9, 2017
  • Published : June 30, 2017

Kim, Hyunseop 1

1서울대학교 철학과

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This article, which is written in response to the recent development of genome editing technologies, examines the ethical issues of gene therapy and genetic enhancement as well as the justifiability of the relevant clauses of Korea’s Bioethics and Biosafety Act. I argue that somatic genome-editing therapies should be regulated in the same way as other gene therapies, that the regulations should be individualized in light of the advantages and disadvantages of each technology, and that these regulations should be multiphased such that the risk-benefit analysis at each stage should be taken into account in deciding whether to proceed to the next stage of research. Furthermore, I argue that the current regulation of research on redundant human embryos from in vitro fertilization (IVF) should be revised, that new regulations on the gene editing of human eggs and sperms should be set up, that gene-editing research on relevant somatic cells and animal models should precede preclinical studies on heritable human gene editing, and that the results of preclinical studies should be taken into account in considering whether to allow clinical trials of human germline editing. I conclude by calling for regulations on human genome editing for enhancement and describing the role of Korea’s National Bioethics Committee in reforming existing regulations.

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