The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly

Volume 17, Issue 1, Spring 2017

David Albert Jones
Pages 83-105

Editing Out the Embryo
The Debates over Human Genome Editing in the United Kingdom and the United States

Two conferences on genome editing held in December 2015 offer a lens through which to contrast bioethics policies in the United Kingdom and the United States. The Progress Educational Trust, which has no parallel in the United States, hosted the London conference and illustrates the close collaboration between government departments, scientific bodies, funding organizations, and lobby groups in the United Kingdom. The rhetoric of responsible regulation used in the United Kingdom protects not the embryo, but the practice of embryo destruction, and advocates of embryo experimentation are eager to guide the debate about genome editing. It would be perilous for the international community to allow the United Kingdom to frame the debate in this way.