I. Glenn Cohen, Jacob S. Sherkow & Eli Y. Adashi, Handle with Care: The WHO Report on Human Genome Editing, 52 Hastings Center Rep. 10 (2022).
Abstract: The World Health Organization’s recent Report on Human Genome Editing departs from similar reports from other institutions in that it recognizes that ethical assessments of the technology are deeply complex, surprisingly fragile, and subject to practical and political considerations. The WHO report largely recommends that human genome editing, rather than being accepted in some circumstances and banned in others, should be handled with care. The report recommends some oversight mechanisms—such as intellectual property licensing—previously undiscussed or underexplored in sister reports, and it recognizes that others—like international law—may be impractical. This essay explores how the report has shifted global considerations of governing human genome editing to more pragmatic ends.