The UK’s Nuffield Council on Bioethics says it’s acceptable to genetically engineer human embryos, so long as the interventions aren’t harmful to the future child or society as a whole. The council is taking a surprisingly progressive position on the matter, but we’re still a long way off from the birth of the world’s first designer baby.
The Nuffield Council on Bioethics is one of the most forward-thinking ethics boards in the world. Six years ago, the council approved a controversial fertility treatment requiring three genetic parents, an intervention designed to eliminate debilitating mitochondrial diseases. The council’s approval prompted a change to UK law, and the first British babies born to the procedure are expected later this year. Now the Nuffield Council, after conducting an independent inquiry, has approved yet another controversial fertility treatment, albeit one that doesn’t exist yet. At least not for humans.