Handle with Care: The WHO Report on Human Genome Editing

I. Glenn Cohen, Jacob S. Sherkow, Eli Y. Adashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The World Health Organization’s recent Report on Human Genome Editing departs from similar reports from other institutions in that it recognizes that ethical assessments of the technology are deeply complex, surprisingly fragile, and subject to practical and political considerations. The WHO report largely recommends that human genome editing, rather than being accepted in some circumstances and banned in others, should be handled with care. The report recommends some oversight mechanisms—such as intellectual property licensing—previously undiscussed or underexplored in sister reports, and it recognizes that others—like international law—may be impractical. This essay explores how the report has shifted global considerations of governing human genome editing to more pragmatic ends.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10-14
Number of pages5
JournalHastings Center Report
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2022


  • WHO
  • bioethics
  • governance
  • law
  • genome editing
  • World Health Organization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects
  • Philosophy
  • Health Policy


Dive into the research topics of 'Handle with Care: The WHO Report on Human Genome Editing'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this