Academy's response to report on heritable human genome editing

Today the International Commission on the Clinical Use of Human Germline Genome Editing released their Heritable Human Genome Editing  report. We are pleased that two of our Fellows were able to contribute to this work, Professor Kay Davies DBE FRS FMedSci as the co-Chair and Professor Sir Doug Turnbull FRS FMedSci as one of the Commissioners. 

Professor Dame Anne Johnson FMedSci, Vice President (International) at the Academy of Medical Sciences, welcomes the report:

“The UK has a great track record of providing clear and robust regulation and legislation concerning IVF and other assisted reproductive techniques. This has been enhanced by involving patients and the public to explore views on how to balance access to the latest techniques with patient safety. 

“The Academy of Medical Sciences welcomes today’s report on heritable human genome editing (HHGE) and the cautious approach that it recommends in this vastly complex and contentious area.

“I am pleased to see that inputs from public and patient groups are key themes in the report. Even if, in the future, HHGE techniques can be shown to be safe and effective it is essential that a wider public conversation precedes any nation progressing to clinical use. This area of science could help a group of patients with no other options, but it is not one to be fast-tracked behind closed doors. It must be based on strong clinical data showing safety and efficacy, alongside thoughtful public debate that is clearly informed by the best possible scientific evidence.

“The Academy looks forward to learning how the recommendations on the international governance of heritable human genome editing in this report will fit with the upcoming recommendations from the World Health Organisation on the global governance of human genome editing. It is important to get this right.”


To find out more about the Academy's work on genome editing visit this page


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