Joint Statement of Ethics Councils from France, Germany and the United Kingdom on the Ethics of Human Germline Intervention

The ethics councils of three major European nations—France, Germany, and the UK—jointly authored this statement on the ethics of human germline genome editing. The statement identifies momentum toward allowing the clinical use of heritable genome editing but argues that this use would require “a level of public ethical reflection that is not yet met by current initiatives.” Accordingly, the three ethics bodies call for broad societal debate and deliberation and argue that this deliberation must focus more on ethical questions and principles.

‘Where to draw the line?’ Mary Warnock, embryos and moral expertise

This chapter puts into perspective the sociopolitical context in which the Warnock committee in the UK was formed and the public division it was called to address, as well as key topics that informed the committee’s deliberations. The committee was unusual in broadening its membership to lay people, besides scientists and doctors; the author highlights Mary Warnock’s individual role in shaping bioethical thought in the UK, through her commitment to applied ethics, the need for external oversight, and her trajectory in civil service in previous committees.