Abstract of Opinion Article by Ira H. Carmen from American Journal of Human Genetics

Ira H. Carmen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Possibly the most far-reaching, controversial research currently being conducted in the international biological science community involves human gene therapy experimentation. In this paper, I report the dynamics of the political process which ultimately found the Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee (RAC) of the National Institutes of Health approving for the first time protocols of this genre. A full appreciation of the policy-making dialogue shows that significant participants perceived the process from very different vantage points regarding the way in which the American political system works and the way in which it ought to work. I argue that, if we are to understand how the RAC should proceed in orchestrating a human gene therapy policy agenda, then we must flesh out and critically analyze these competing vantage points. To that end, I postulate seven possible “action models” for characterizing how protocol assessments of the type at issue might be developed given the nature of our politics, reaching the conclusion that one of these models holds out the most promise for synthesizing efficaciously the key factors involved. In conclusion, I discuss how the RAC might profitably employ this preferred strategy in these and other cases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293
Number of pages1
JournalHuman Gene Therapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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