Published: 2nd February 2016
The Council has invited written submissions of evidence to inform its examination of ethical issues arising in relation to genome editing, an emerging family of biological techniques for making precise genetic alterations to living cells. In its submission, CMF welcomes and supports beneficial and ethical applications of genome editing on somatic cells, but strongly opposes those that modify germ cells.
Moral concerns with germline genome editing include issues of safety, (un)fair allocation of resources, the implications for future generations whose genomes would be irreversibly changed, and the risk that the techniques be put to non-therapeutic 'enhancement' or exploitative eugenic uses.
CMF draws attention to the fact that the Council's questionnaire fails clearly to distinguish between genome-editing techniques in somatic (non-reproductive) cells, which CMF considers is a promising area of ethical therapeutic development, and germline genome editing which is the main focus of CMF's concerns in this submission.
Philippa Taylor (CMF Head of Public Policy) 020 7234 9664
Steven Fouch (CMF Head of Communications) 020 7234 9668
Alistair Thompson on 07970 162 225
Christian Medical Fellowship (CMF) was founded in 1949 and is an interdenominational organisation with over 4,000 British doctor members in all branches of medicine. A registered charity, it is linked to about 65 similar bodies in other countries throughout the world.
CMF exists to unite Christian doctors to pursue the highest ethical standards in Christian and professional life and to increase faith in Christ and acceptance of his ethical teaching.