Genetic Protection Modifications: Moving Beyond the Binary Distinction Between Therapy and Enhancement for Human Genome Editing.CRISPR J. 2019 12; 2(6):362-369.CJ
The current debate and policy surrounding the use of genome editing in humans typically relies on a binary distinction between therapy and human enhancement. Here, we argue that this dichotomy fails to take into account perhaps the most significant potential uses of CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing in humans. We argue that genetic treatment of sporadic Alzheimer's disease, breast and ovarian cancer predisposing BRCA1/2 mutations, and the introduction of human immunodeficiency virus resistance in humans should be considered within a new category of genetic protection treatments. We suggest that if this category is not introduced, life-altering research might be unnecessarily limited by current or future policy. Otherwise ad hoc decisions might be made, which introduce a risk of unforeseen moral costs, and might overlook or fail to address some important opportunities.