Genetic Modification of Preimplantation Embryos: Toward Adequate Human Research Policies

Citing advances in transgenic animal research and setbacks in human trials of somatic cell genetic interventions, some scientists and others want to begin planning for research involving the genetic modification of human embryos. Because this form of genetic modification could affect later-born children and their offspring, the protection of human subjects should be a priority in decisions about whether to proceed with such research. Yet because of gaps in existing federal policies, embryo modification proposals might not receive adequate scientific and ethical scrutiny. This article describes current policy shortcomings and recommends policy actions designed to ensure that the investigational genetic modification of embryos meets accepted standards for research on human subjects.

Author(s): Rebecca Dresser

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Volume 82, Issue 1 (pages 195–214)
DOI: 10.1111/j.0887-378X.2004.00306.x
Published in 2004