Legal answers to questions about editing the human genome (considering CRISPR-Cas9 technology)

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Author: Alexandra Troitskaya

DOI: 10.21128/1812-7126-2022-5-11-41

Keywords: human genome; genetic editing; CRISPR-Cas9; status of the embryo; human dignity; health care


The emergence and improvement of human genome editing technology raises a number of significant legal questions about the prospects for its regulation. Some types of artificial modification of the human genome (and above all those that can be inherited) are currently blocked in many countries. The author attempts to understand in detail the reasons for this and whether it might have a more pragmatic alternative. To do this, the article presents the biotechnological aspect of human genome editing and its purposes; an outline of the modern legal framework for editing; and a summary of key medical, ethical and social concerns and possible ways out of the ideological impasse, deconstructing at least some of these concerns. The article takes into account not only the legal and ethical constructions that shape the relevant discussion but also the essence of editing in the categories of molecular biology. In addition, the analysis considers previously adopted reproductive and genetic technologies whose practice can help crystallize attitudes towards editing the human genome. The result of the study is a set of specific, practical proposals for legal regulation of human genome editing technology.

About the author: Alexandra Troitskaya – Doctor of Sciences in Law, Professor of the Constitutional and Municipal Law Department, Faculty of Law, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow.

Citation: Troitskaya A. (2022) Pravovyye otvety na voprosy o redaktirovanii genoma cheloveka (s uchyotom tekhnologii CRISPR-Cas9) [Legal answers to questions about editing the human genome (considering CRISPR-Cas9 technology)]. Sravnitel’noe konstitutsionnoe obozrenie, vol. 31, no. 5, pp. 11–41. (In Russian).


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