The CRISPR Journal
Volume 2, Issue 6 / December 2019
Safety of Germline Genome Editing for Genetically Related “Future” Children as Perceived by Parents
Tetsuya Ishii and Iñigo de Miguel Beriain
Published Online:19 November 2019
The social acceptability of germline genome editing (GGE) depends on its perceived safety, as well as respect for reproductive autonomy. However, it is doubtful that prospective parents sufficiently understand the risks of GGE. In the future, the use of GGE in specific situations seems plausible, as it offers couples potential means to safeguard genetically related future children from a serious disease and overcome infertility due to a gene mutation. Should GGE fail, however, some couples may be obliged to abort affected fetuses, or give birth to adversely affected children, which would be a tragedy. Some children might develop diseases later in life due to overlooked off-target mutations. Compounding this, some parents are unlikely to inform their offspring about the details of conception, hampering necessary follow-up. Prospective parents, scientists and policy makers should carefully discuss the safety implications of GGE for genetically related future children.