European scholars support development of germ line modification

An international conference of European scholars and scientists, with funding from the government of Flanders, goes on record supporting research leading toward safe and effective human germ line genetic modification, saying that it does not violate human rights, including any "so-called right to be born with a human genome that has not been modified by artificial means."

The full text of the joint statement follows. Attention is drawn in particular to section C.5, which rejects the view that human germ line modification will necessarily violate human dignity. In the view of participants, "The so-called right to be born with a human genome that has not been modified by artificial means, was not recognized here as being a clear and a compelling right."

A list of the names and cities of the participants who support the statement is provided below. For additional information, contact Prof. dr. Guido Van Steendam, director IFB, Craenendonck 15, 3000 Leuven Belgium; +32 16 23 11 74. guido.vansteendam@biophilosophy.be.


Title: Improving the way society can handle itself and the science it generates: The Ethics of Inheritable Genetic Modifications in Humans

Text: The prospect that Inheritable Genetic Modification (IGM) in humans might sooner or later be possible is the subject of a growing number of publications in the media and popular press, of intensified activity of social sciences and bioethics and of ongoing attention from policy makers.

The ethical issues surrounding these developments were addressed during the first international Expert Meeting in Europe on this topic, convened by the International Forum for Biophilosophy (IFB) in Brussels on 6-8 December 2002. The meeting was based on a preparatory study carried out by IFB and drew upon the results of the AAAS working group on IGM.

At the end of the meeti

Contact: Brent Waters
Science and Religion Information Service

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