Opinion on the Legal Framework Concerning Interventions in Human Germline Genes in Belgium

  • Herman NysEmail author
Part of the Veröffentlichungen des Instituts für Deutsches, Europäisches und Internationales Medizinrecht, Gesundheitsrecht und Bioethik der Universitäten Heidelberg und Mannheim book series (IMGB, volume 47)


This Opinion deals with the legal framework concerning interventions in human germline genes in Belgium. Gene modification methods are not new and have been used for several decades playing an essential role in biomedical research. The development of new genome editing technologies, such as CRISPR-Cas9 have made possible simple and precise modifications. What makes CRISPR-Cas9 different from earlier known techniques for genetic modification is that it is cheap, easy and quick to work with, which has made it easily accessible. The 40 years old global consensus on prohibiting human germline gene modification (the Asilomar Conference 1975) has come under significant pressure in 2015. The announcement in April 2015 of genome editing of non-viable human embryos using CRISPR-Cas9 demonstrated that human germline modification has moved out of the realm of the theoretical.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Deutschland, ein Teil von Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Katholieke Universiteit LeuvenLeuvenBelgium

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