This report is about germline genetic modification (also called germline modification): altering or ‘editing’ the DNA of a human embryo. This technique offers people with genetic diseases new opportunities to have their own genetic children without the risk of passing on the disease.
Unlike somatic genetic modification, germline genetic modification involves altering the DNA in the whole embryo (and therefore in all the cells of the individual), which means that the modified DNA will be passed on to future generations.
In this report the Health Council of the Netherlands and The Netherland Commission on Genetic Modification (COGEM) describe the technical, legal and ethical issues raised by human germline modification. The main questions examined are:
This report is a translation of the report ‘Ingrijpen in het DNA van de mens. Morele en maatschappelijke implicaties van kiembaanmodificatie’ which was published in March 2017