Home » Blog » Gene Editing and the Rise of Designer Babies

Gene Editing and the Rise of Designer Babies

PDF · Tara R. Melillo · Jul-4-2017 · 50 VAND. J. TRANSNAT'L L. 757 (2017)

Nearly as long as human beings have existed on this earth, many people have sought out the ideal of perfecting their population: infanticide in Sparta during the Hellenistic era; compulsory sterilization in the 1920s in the United States; and the unimaginable atrocities of the Holocaust in the 1940s in Europe. The goal of alleged perfection leaves many hesitant to repeat the mistakes of our past. Today, a new frontier of science has emerged, gene editing using CRISPR-Cas9, reigniting ethical debate as to how far humans should go in manipulating the population.

While many proponents herald this technology as a potential for eradicating devastating genetic disease, some critics fear that it presents an opportunity to pre-select “desirable” traits in offspring, which is expounded by a lack of clear scientific and ethical regulations in the United States and abroad. Though the National Academies of Science and Medicine recently began an initiative to address the implications of this technology, this body can only provide a recommendation. This Note looks to the technology, historical eugenics’ concerns, domestic and foreign law, and the recommendations of the Academies, in proposing a two-part solution to address the concerns surrounding “designer babies”: reinforcing United States research laws and revising the Universal Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights.




One Response to “Gene Editing and the Rise of Designer Babies”

  1. Very interesting subject that will no doubt be more prevalent in the future. Thanks.

    posted on August 10th, 2017 at 4:31 pm

Leave a Reply


ExpressO Top 10 Law Review


ANNOUNCEMENTS

Vanderbilt University Law School Professor Michael A. Newton’s 2016 VJTL Article entitled How the International Criminal Court Threatens Treaty Norms  was cited by the International Criminal Court prosecutor’s November 2017 filing seeking investigation into war crimes in Afghanistan.

May 2018 Issue on the Second Israel Defense Forces International Conference on the Law of Armed Conflict. Read more about the Journal’s May 2018 issue here.

Thank you to everyone who attended the Journal’s 50th Anniversary celebration on October 5, 2017! View photos from the event here and read about the Journal’s history here.

Connect with the Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law on LinkedIn.

The Journal is pleased to listed as the #5 International Law Journal by the 2017 Washington and Lee Law Journal Rankings.

The Journal is pleased to announce the 2017-2018 Board of Editors: here

The Journal is very excited about the success of our February 2017 Symposium, “Sovereign Conduct on the Margins of the Law.” Read more about our February 2017 Symposium here

Please join us in congratulating the Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law 2017-2018 Write-On Competition Winners.

Video is available from the Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law’s 2015-2016 SymposiumThis is Not a Drill: Confronting Legal Issues in the Wake of International Disasters. Watch here.

Explore Other Vanderbilt Law Resources