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A Defense of Limited Regulation of Human Genetic Therapies

  • JAMES J. HUGHES

Abstract:

There is a role for regulatory oversight over new genetic technologies. Research must ensure the rights of human subjects, and all medical products and techniques should be ensured to be safe and effective. In the United States, these forms of regulation are largely the purview of the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration. Some have argued, however, that human genetic therapies require new regulatory agencies empowered to enforce cultural norms, protect against hypothetical social harms, or ensure that the human genome remains unchanged. Focusing on the United States, this essay will briefly review these arguments and argue that the current limited regulatory role over human gene therapies is sufficient to protect public health, bodily autonomy, and reproductive freedom.

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