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ARRTI Guest Speaker:
Clinical Ethicist, Alberta Health Services
Date: January 21, 2020
Time: 3 p.m.
Title: The Ethics of Human Gene Editing: Pathways and Roadblocks.
The rapid development of gene editing techniques such as CRISPR-Cas9/13 has not been matched by international scientific consensus and national policy regarding the ethics of such techniques. At the Second International Summit on Human Genome Editing in 2018, a Chinese scientist announced that he had used CRISPR-Cas9 to delete a gene in human embryos to make them resistant to HIV. This reaffirmed the need for an international discussion about the ethical permissibility of gene editing, and led to calls for a moratorium on germline editing research in humans. The summit’s Organizing Committee released a statement calling for, among other things, the development of a translational pathway to guide future research. In this paper, I survey the current debate about the ethics of gene editing and outline a translational pathway, including the role of RNA techniques.