Publications of Sándor J.

J. S. The Challenge of Genetics, Human Rights on the Molecular Level? In: von Arnauld A, von der Decken K, Susi M, editors. The Cambridge Handbook of New Human Rights. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 2020. p. 350-8.

The Challenge of Genetics, Human Rights on the Molecular Level?

The editor of a groundbreaking book that explores the normative challenges posed by the recent advances of genetic research, Sheila Jasanoff, provides in her introduction a very powerful metaphor for describing what has happened in the field of genetics since the completion of the Human Genome Project. She claims that biological sciences have reached the phase of textuality. By this she means that, just like DNA sequences, genetic test results can also be written, recorded, stored, read and matched with other textual and non-textual information. She argues that this post-genomic period provides a transformative change in both law and the life sciences that should be considered ‘bioconstitutional’. Since the completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003, new legal challenges have emerged and law and ethics have provided two different kinds of responses to the legal challenges that have been accelerated following the completion of the Human Genome Project. One applied a ‘rhetoric of scepticism’ and vehemently argued that ‘there is nothing new, nothing special’ about genetic research and genetic data, while the other position emphasised novelty and the peculiarity of genetic data. From these two radically different approaches, two substantially different legal conceptualisations follow. The first does not see any necessity to adopt new legal norms or formulations of new human rights in the field of genetics. The other approach argues that new legal norms need to be articulated, including new human rights.

J. S. Editing human reproduction? Legal and ethical aspects of genome editing. In: Sills SE, Palermo GD, editors. Human Embryos and Preimplantation Genetic Technologies . London: Elsevier; 2019. p. 185-97.

Editing human reproduction? Legal and ethical aspects of genome editing

Genome editing has generated an unprecedented interest in both scientific circles and the community of lawyers and bioethicists. Once this technology becomes safe and can be used for clinical purposes, it might shake the existing ethical and legal consensus. Genome editing is forcing us to rethink the dichotomies between natural and artificial or therapy and enhancement, and it is going to cast in a new light the distinction between the stances of protecting life and giving priority to personal autonomy in reproductive rights. Moreover, by applying genome editing in practice, the division between germ line and somatic line will become blurred, which will require significant adjustments in regulation. As preimplantation genetic tests become increasingly widespread, embryo selection at in vitro fertilization clinics raises serious ethical concerns. Genome editing is still a new technology, but its potential implications suggest that once it can be successfully applied in medicine, we will have to reexamine a number of basic ethical principles and legal arguments that govern bioethics and biomedical law. This chapter attempts to look at these potential changes and analyze their implications.