Genome editing and assisted reproduction: curing embryos, society or prospective parents?

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This paper explores the ethics of introducing genome-editing technologies as a new reproductive option. In particular, it focuses on whether genome editing can be considered a morally valuable alternative to preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). Two arguments against the use of genome editing in reproduction are analysed, namely safety concerns and germline modification. These arguments are then contrasted with arguments in favour of genome editing, in particular with the argument of the child’s welfare and the argument of parental reproductive autonomy. In addition to these two arguments, genome editing could be considered as a worthy alternative to PGD as it may not be subjected to some of the moral critiques moved against this technology. Even if these arguments offer sound reasons in favour of introducing genome editing as a new reproductive option, I conclude that these benefits should be balanced against other considerations. More specifically, I maintain that concerns regarding the equality of access to assisted reproduction and the allocation of scarce resources should be addressed prior to the adoption of genome editing as a new reproductive option.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMedicine Health Care And Philosophy
Early online date19 Jul 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Jul 2017


  • Genome editing · Assisted reproduction · Genetic kinship · PGD · Therapy · Selection


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