Law and policy in the era of reproductive genetics
Journal of Medical Ethics 2004 August; 30(4): 414-417
The extent to which society utilises the law to enforce its moral judgments remains a dominant issue in this era of embryonic stem cell research, preimplantation genetic diagnosis, and human reproductive cloning. Balancing the potential health benefits and diverse moral values of society can be a tremendous challenge. In this context, governments often adopt legislative bans and prohibitions and rely on the inflexible and often inappropriate tool of criminal law. Legal prohibitions in the field of reproductive genetics are not likely to reflect adequately the depth and diversity of competing stakeholder positions. Rather, a comprehensive and readily responsive regulatory policy is required. Such a policy must attend to the evolving scientific developments and ethical considerations. We outline a proposal for effective, responsive, and coherent oversight of new reproductive genetic technologies.
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