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The Challenges of Medical Ethics in China: Are Gene-Edited Babies Enough?

  • Zeng Jie YeEmail author
  • Xiao Ying Zhang
  • Jian Liang
  • Ying Tang
Letter to the Editor
  • 15 Downloads

Commentary

Recently, Jian-kui He, a professor from the Southern University of Science and Technology in China, announced the first gene-edited twin babies “immune to HIV” using CRISPR-Cas9, and disclosed the details about his work at the Second International Summit on Human Genome Editing in Hong Kong (Cyranoski and Ledford 2018), causing a big controversy in the science and medical community. Similarly, on November 17, 2017, Professor Xiao-ping Ren and colleagues from Harbin Medical University in China, also announced the first human head-transplantation on a corpse (SinaTech, http://news.sina.com.cn/o/2017-11-19/doc-ifynwnty5107206.shtml). These experiments, though prohibited in other countries, were approved by the Institutional Review Boards (IRB) of the hospitals where the research was conducted, though not by the universities with which the researchers were affiliated. Why is this the case in China?

With the rapid development of economics, China is putting more and more research...

Notes

Authors Contribution

Zeng Jie Ye: Dr. Ye conceptualized and designed the study, drafted the initial manuscript, and approved the final manuscript as submitted. Xiao Ying Zhang: Dr. Zhang coordinated data collection, critically reviewed the manuscript and approved the final manuscript as submitted. Jian Liang: Dr. Liang coordinated data collection, critically reviewed the manuscript and approved the final manuscript as submitted. Ying Tang: Dr. Tang coordinated data collection, critically reviewed the manuscript, and approved the final manuscript as submitted.

Funding

This research was funded by grants from Research Fund for Talented Scholars of Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine (A1-AFD018), Innovative Project of Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine (2016KYTD08).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

References

  1. Cyranoski, D., & Ledford, H. (2018). International outcry over genome-edited baby claim. Nature, 563(7733), 607–608.  https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-018-07545-0.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. FERCAP. SIDCER RECOGNITION PROGRAM 2005–2017. (2005) http://www.fercap-sidcer.org/recognized.php?Mem_Form=main. Accessed November 29, 2018.
  3. Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China. (2017). National Centers for Clinical Medicine Research. http://www.most.gov.cn/kjbgz/201706/P020170615617731401094.pdf. Accessed November 29, 2018 (in Chinese)
  4. SinaTech. (2017). Is the first human head transplantation really a success in China? http://news.sina.com.cn/o/2017-11-19/doc-ifynwnty5107206.shtml. Accessed November 29, 2018 (in Chinese).
  5. Xu, S. S., Ye, Y., Pang, X. J., et al. (2016). Study on the current situation and the management mechanism of the medical ethics committee. Chinese Medical Ethics, 29(1), 17–19. (in Chinese).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zeng Jie Ye
    • 1
    Email author
  • Xiao Ying Zhang
    • 2
  • Jian Liang
    • 3
  • Ying Tang
    • 4
  1. 1.Guangzhou University of Chinese MedicineGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.The Seventh Affiliated HospitalSun Yat-sen UniversityShenzhenChina
  3. 3.Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of New Drug Development and Research of Chinese Medicine, Mathematical Engineering Academy of Chinese MedicineGuangzhou University of Chinese MedicineGuangzhouChina
  4. 4.Institute of TumorGuangzhou University of Chinese MedicineGuangzhouChina

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