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Author Archive: Susan Gilbert

About Susan Gilbert

Despite the appearance of agreement, scientists are not of the same mind about the ethics and governance of human germline editing. A careful review of public comments and published commentaries in top-tier science journals reveals marked differences in perspective. These divergences have significant implications for research practice and policy concerning heritable human genome editing. The… Read more

The post Scientists Disagree About the Ethics and Governance of Human Germline Editing appeared first on The Hastings Center.

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The introduction of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) as a means of preventing HIV infections those at high risk marked a significant step in the fight against the virus. PrEP involves taking the HIV medicine Truvada or a generic version daily. It is now gradually becoming available across the world, particularly for men who have sex with… Read more

The post Prevention Optimism: Does It Raise Ethical Questions About PrEP for HIV? appeared first on The Hastings Center.

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In their single-minded venture of “producing” (shengchan, in their own word) the world’s first gene-edited babies, He Jiankui and his associates have posed numerous and daunting ethical challenges to China and the world. They can be mapped or identified through these four categories: typical problems related to research ethics; broader political, socio-cultural, and transcultural issues;… Read more

The post He Jiankui’s Genetic Misadventure, Part 3: What Are the Major Ethical Issues? appeared first on The Hastings Center.

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In the wake of the recent Twitter fight between the National Rifle Association and U.S. physician groups over whether doctors should speak out about firearm policy issues, we argue that professionalism actually requires that doctors take on a leadership role in gun policy debates, even if (in fact, especially if) doing so is politically fraught… Read more

The post Staying in Their Lane: Health Professionals Must Address Gun Violence appeared first on The Hastings Center.

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When the world’s first research on editing the genes of human embryos by Chinese scientists  was published in an international journal in 2015, a report in the New York Times characterised the key issue involved as “a scientific ethical divide between China and West.” Earlier this year, an article in the magazine Foreign Policy by… Read more

The post He Jiankui’s Genetic Misadventure, Part 2: How Different Are Chinese and Western Bioethics? appeared first on The Hastings Center.

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In response to news of the world’s first babies born in China from gene-edited embryos, Sam Sternberg, a CRISPR/Cas9 researcher at Columbia University, spoke for many when he said “I’ve long suspected that scientists, somewhere, would rush to claim the ‘prize’ of being first to apply CRISPR clinically to edit the DNA of human embryos,… Read more

The post Jiankui He: A Sorry Tale of High-Stakes Science appeared first on The Hastings Center.

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The global scientific community has been unanimous in condemning Chinese scientist He Jiankui, who announced last week that he used the gene-editing technology called CRISPR to make permanent, heritable changes to the genes of two baby girls who were born this month in China. Criticism has focused on He’s violation of worldwide acknowledgement that CRISPR… Read more

The post CRISPR in China: Why Did the Parents Give Consent? appeared first on The Hastings Center.

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The birth of gene-edited twin girls was announced by a young Chinese scientist He Jiankui through one of four self-made promotional videos in English on YouTube (a website officially banned in China) on November 25. Three days later, at the Second International Summit on Human Genome Editing held in Hong Kong, He revealed that another… Read more

The post He Jiankui’s Genetic Misadventure: Why Him? Why China? appeared first on The Hastings Center.

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I started writing this on my way back to New York from the Second International Summit on Human Genome Editing, held in Hong Kong November 27 to 29, where the breaking news of the alleged world’s first birth of genetically edited babies loomed large. The surprising news both reinforced and undercut the summit’s goal to… Read more

The post Should We Edit the Human Germline? Is Consensus Possible or Even Desirable? appeared first on The Hastings Center.

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Across the country, billboards are popping up suggesting that vaccines can kill children, when the science behind vaccination is crystal clear – vaccinations are extremely safe. Researchers who study the beliefs of anti-vaxxers have found many different reasons, not just religious or political, as to why some parents refuse to get their children vaccinated. As a bioethicist who investigates how societal values impact… Read more

The post Three Ethical Reasons for Vaccinating your Children appeared first on The Hastings Center.

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