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Gene Therapy: Ethical Issues

Germ Line Versus Somatic Cell Gene Therapy, Research Issues, Informed Consent, Appropriate Uses Of Gene Therapy

Gene therapy introduces or alters genetic material to compensate for a genetic mistake that causes disease. It is hoped that gene therapy can treat or cure diseases for which no other effective treatments are available. However, many unique technical and ethical considerations have been raised by this new form of treatment, and several levels of regulatory committees have been established to review each gene therapy clinical trial prior to its initiation in human subjects. Ethical considerations include deciding which cells should be used, how gene therapy can be safely tested and evaluated in humans, what components are necessary for informed consent, and which diseases and/or traits are eligible for gene therapy research.

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Medicine EncyclopediaGenetics in Medicine - Part 2