COVID-19 Ethics and ResearchAs of April 27, 2020, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic involved 2,916,338 reported cases and had claimed 205,923 lives.1 Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is spreading in almost every country, causing widespread health challenges and social instability. People most vulnerable to COVID-19 include those with underlying health conditions.2 Yet the pandemic is disrupting clinical trials addressing these same health conditions.3 There were more than 300,000 studies being conducted worldwide registered on clinicaltrials.gov.
Reexamining the Ethics of Human Germline Editing in the Wake of ScandalIn November 2018, the announcement that genetically edited human embryos had been used for reproductive purposes caused international uproar; many observers argued that editing the human germline was unethical, particularly given the early stage of the science and the absence of appropriate oversight. We provide an overview of the implications of these events, focusing on the relevant ethical considerations for physicians addressing patient questions and concerns. The editing of the human germline for reproductive purposes should be understood against an historic backdrop of clinical research in assisted reproduction, as well as other exemplars of translational investigation.