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Global health and global governance of emerging biomedical technologies
  1. Bryan Cwik
  1. Philosophy, Portland State University, Portland, Oregon, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Bryan Cwik, Philosophy and University Studies, Portland State University, Portland, OR 97201, USA; bcwik{at}


Global governance of emerging, disruptive biomedical technologies presents a multitude of ethical problems. The recent paper by Shozi et al raises some of these problems in the context of a discussion of what could be the most disruptive (and most morally fraught) emerging biomedical technology—human germline genome editing. At the heart of their argument is the claim that, for something like gene editing, there is likely to be tension between the interests of specific states in crafting regulation for the technology, and disagreement about what would be necessary to meet the requirements for responsible translation of gene editing into the clinic. This complicates hopes for a tidy, algorithmic process of crafting global governance via frameworks for regulation built around core ‘ethical values and principles’ (as they are called in the WHO Framework), and also forces us to confront deeper philosophical questions about biotechnology and global health.

  • Ethics
  • Genetic Therapy
  • Policy
  • Reproductive Medicine

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  • Contributors BC is the sole author of this paper.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests The author is a member of the External Advisory Board for the Center for Embryonic Cell and Gene Therapy at Oregon Health and Science University. The author is a pro bono member and does not receive an honorarium for their service.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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