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Spirituality/Medicine Interface Project

Gene Therapy: Human Germline Genetic Modifications—Assessing the Scientific, Socioethical, and Religious Issues

Qiana L. Matthews, PhD, David T. Curiel, MD, PhD
Volume: 100 Issue: 1 January, 2007

Abstract:

In this article, we will briefly discuss the scientific, socioethical, and religious implications of technologies that facilitate gene transfer, which is the enabling technology of gene therapy.1 The timeliness of this topic is predicated as a result of rapid breakthroughs in genetic research, which are facilitated by advances in molecular biology and novel reproductive technologies. This progression has advanced our understanding of how we may utilize genetic transfer, or gene therapy, to correct disease.

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References:

1. Wolff JA, Lederberg J. An early history of gene transfer and therapy. Hum Gene Ther 1994;5:469–480
 
2. Kaplan JM. Adenovirus-based cancer gene therapy. Curr Gene Ther 2005;5:595–605.
 
3. Blaese RM, Culver KW, Miller AD, et al. T lymphocyte-directed gene therapy for ADA- SCID: initial trial results after 4 years. Science 1995;270:475–480.
 
4. Genetic and Public Policy Center. Available at: http://www.dnapolicy.org. Accessed October 6, 2005.
 
5. Garber K. China approves world’s first oncolytic virus therapy for cancer treatment. J Natl Cancer Inst 2006;98:298–300.
 
6. Denning C, Priddle H. New frontiers in gene targeting and cloning: success, application and challenges in domestic animals and human embryonic stem cells. Reproduction 2003;126:1–11.
 
7. McCreath KJ, Howcroft J, Campbell KH, et al. Production of gene-targeted sheep by nuclear transfer from cultured somatic cells. Nature 2000;405:1066–1069.
 
8. Conte RC. Toward a theological construct for the new biology: an analysis of Rahner, Fletcher, and Ramsey. J Contemp Health Law Policy 1995;11:429–455.
 
9. Baruch S, Huang A, Pritchard D, et al. Human Germline Genetic Modification: Issues and Opinions for Policymakers. Genetics and Public Policy Center, 2006.
 
10. President’s Commission for the Study of Ethical Problems in Medicine and Biomedical and Behavioral Research. Splicing Life, The Social and Ethical Issues of Genetic Engineering Human Beings. Library of Congress, 1982.
 
11. Chapman AR, Frankel MS. Designing Our Descendants: The Promises and Perils of Genetic Modifications. Baltimore, The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003.
 
12. Frankel MS, Chapman AR. Human Inheritable Genetic Modifications: Assessing Scientific, Ethical, Religious, and Policy Issues. Genetic and Public Policy Centers, 2000.
 
13. Chapman AR. Unprecedented Choices: Religious Ethics at the Frontiers of Science.Minneapolis, Fortress, 1999, pp 67–68.
 
14. Chapman AR, Frankel MS, Ramsey P, qouted in Cole-Turner R Human Limits: Theological perspective on Germ-Line Modification Designing Our Desendants: The Promises and Perils of Genetic Modification. In: Chapman AR, Frankel MS, editors. Baltimore, The John Hopkins University Press, 2003.
 
15. Newman SA, Babies by Design. Conference 5 A.D. January 1.

CME:

Portions of this issue may be available for CME credit. Please email education@sma.org for a complete listing of current Southern Medical Journal activities, as well as other SMA educational offerings.

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