Commerce and the Future of Gene Transfer

  • Tabitha M. Powledge


Obviously, providing an overview of the vast and windy subject of the ethical issues in gene transfer is out of the question, so I’m going to be selective. I think I need spend almost no time on the immediate questions of human experimentation that will come up with the first attempts at gene transfer. There is a consensus that those attempts will present no novel ethical issues but raise the same sorts of worries about safety that attend any experimental therapies. We already have available an array of agencies from several parts of the alphabet that are supposed to deal with those questions—IRBs, FDA, RAC, and so forth—and I think we can be reasonably confident that the machinery for overseeing human experimentation will function to forestall major abuses.


Germ Cell Gene Therapy Gene Transfer Genetic Engineering Embryo Transfer 
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    President’s Commission for the Study of Ethical Problems in Medicine and Biomedical and Behavioral Research, Splicing Life (1982).Google Scholar
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    Kolata, G., Gene therapy method shows promise, Science 223:1376 (March 30, 1984).Google Scholar
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    Palmiter, R. D. ,Metallothionein-human GH fusion genes stimulate growth of mice. Science 222:809 (Nov. 11, 1983).Google Scholar
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    Lancaster, H., Firm offering human-embryo transfers for profit stirs legal and ethical debates, Wall Street Journal (March 7, 1984), p. 33.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Aubrey Milunsky and George J. Annas 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tabitha M. Powledge
    • 1
  1. 1.Bio/TechnologyBrooklynUSA

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