Heritable Human Genome Editing: The Public Engagement Imperative

Richard P Watermeyer, Eli Y Adashi*, Michael M Burgess, Simon Burall, I. Glenn Cohen, Leonard Fleck, John Harris, Soren Holm, Cristina Lafont

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


In the view of many, heritable human genome editing (HHGE) harbors the remedial potential of ridding the world of deadly genetic diseases. A Hippocratic obligation, if there ever was one, HHGE is widely viewed as a life-sustaining proposition. The national go/no-go decision regarding the implementation of HHGE, however, must not, in the collective view of the authors, proceed absent thorough public engagement. A comparable call for an "extensive societal dialogue" was recently issued by the International Commission on the Clinical Use of Human Germline Genome Editing. In this communication, the authors lay out the foundational principles undergirding the formation, modification, and evaluation of public opinion. It is against this backdrop that the societal decision to warrant or enjoin the clinical conduct of HHGE will doubtlessly transpire.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)434-439
JournalThe CRISPR Journal
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 3 Dec 2020

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