Preview

BRICS Law Journal

Advanced search

THE FIRST CASE OF HUMAN GENOME EDITING: CRIMINAL LAW PERSPECTIVE

https://doi.org/10.21684/2412-2343-2019-6-4-114-133

Full Text:

Abstract

This article analyzes the legal assessment of the human genome modification experiment at the pre-implantation stage conducted by a group of scientists headed by He Jiankui, professor at the Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, China, by means of the CRISPR/Cas9 technology. Chinese scholars have different opinions concerning He Jiankui’s experiment, but on the whole condemn it as illegal. Though CRISPR/Cas9 has been applied for quite a long time, the legislation of most developed countries is not ready to respond. The author of the article underlines the fact that despite the consolidated opinion of scholars, there is no binding international act which would restrict human genome editing. The author relies on Chinese sources in considering the main approaches to the assessment of He Jiankui’s actions in terms of criminal law (illegal medical activity, forgery of documents or fraud). Based on the analysis of Chinese criminal law doctrine, the author offers possible models of classifying separate actions related to human genome manipulation. The following cases of human genome manipulation are considered by the author as publicly dangerous and criminally liable: (a) when the embryo genome is changed by genetic engineering technologies for the purpose of its further implantation in the situation where the child’s parents are not aware of such intervention and its possible implications; (b) when genetic therapy or any other gene transfer (transgenesis) is applied to a person who is not aware of the nature of such manipulation and the possible implications of the application of the technology.

About the Author

D. Sergeev
Ural State Law University
Russian Federation

Associate Professor, Department of Criminal Law

21 Komsomolskaya St., Yekaterinburg, 620137, Russia



References

1. Allers K. & Schneider T. CCR5Д32 Mutation and HIV Infection: Basis for Curative HIV Therapy, 14 Current Opinion in Virology 24 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.coviro.2015.06.007

2. Araki M. & Ishii T. International Regulatory Landscape and Integration of Corrective Genome Editing into in Vitro Fertilization, 12(1) Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology 108 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1186/1477-7827-12-108

3. Berg P. et al. Summary Statement of the Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA Molecules, 72(6) Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 1981 (1975). https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.72.6.1981

4. Cyranoski D. Russian Biologist Plans More CRISPR-Edited Babies, 570(7760) Nature 145 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-019-01770-x

5. Loureiro A. & da Silva G.J. CRISPR-Cas Converting a Bacterial Defence Mechanism into a State-of-the-Art Genetic Manipulation Tool, 8(1) Antibiotics 18 (2019). https://doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics8010018

6. Song P. Biomedical Odysseys: Fetal Cell Experiments from Cyberspace to China (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2017). https://doi.org/10.23943/princeton/9780691174778.001.0001

7. 王世洲。现代刑法学(总论) [Shizhou W. Modern Criminal Law (General Part)] (Beijing: Beijing University Press, 2011).


For citation:


Sergeev D. THE FIRST CASE OF HUMAN GENOME EDITING: CRIMINAL LAW PERSPECTIVE. BRICS Law Journal. 2019;6(4):114-133. https://doi.org/10.21684/2412-2343-2019-6-4-114-133

Views: 71


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


ISSN 2409-9058 (Print)
ISSN 2412-2343 (Online)