Justice in CRISPR/Cas9 Research and Clinical Applications.AMA J Ethics. 2018 09 01; 20(9):E826-833.AJ
CRISPR/Cas9 is a rapidly developing gene editing technology that will soon have many clinical applications. As with many other new technologies, somatic gene editing with CRISPR/Cas9 raises concerns about equitable access to therapies by historically disenfranchised racial and ethnic minorities. We describe justice concerns related to CRISPR/Cas9, including its potential impact on historically mistreated populations through underrepresentation of minorities in genomic databases and the potential for disparate access to somatic gene therapies when they become clinically available. We then describe ongoing work that aims to address these justice concerns. We conclude by highlighting important considerations to ensure equitable access to therapies going forward, including enhancing diversity in genomic sequencing efforts, improving education and transparency, and building partnerships with underserved and socially disenfranchised communities.