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Human embryos, genome editing and future directions

Whitton, TC, Nicol, D ORCID: 0000-0002-6553-2839 and Chalmers, DRC ORCID: 0000-0002-7925-8818 2017 , 'Human embryos, genome editing and future directions', in I Freckelton and K Petersen (eds.), Tensions and traumas in health law , The Federation Press, Australia, pp. 384-400.

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To use human embryos outside of the ordinary course of nature is exceptional. Although it raises profound ethical, legal and social questions, it is also full of potential. Examples of this potential include: assisting women to become pregnant when they might not otherwise be able; assisting parents to have healthy children; and creating treatments for life threatening diseases. It is easy to forget in today's rapidly evolving technical world that it is only 388 years since the first IVF baby was born. Over those past four decades, people all over the world have discussed the appropriate research use of human embryos and, indeed, whether such use is appropriate at all. The issue is not only what is appropriate but how the law should regulate some research applications that use human embryos and prohibit others. Today, with the creation of new genome editing techniques, potentially allowing us to change traits, including those that we pass down to our children, it is time to reflect and reassess the tensions and traumas caused by use of human embryos in research.

Item Type: Book Section
Authors/Creators:Whitton, TC and Nicol, D and Chalmers, DRC
Keywords: embryo research, genome editing, CRISPR
Publisher: The Federation Press
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Copyright 2017 The Federation Press

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