Public survey and call for evidence

A new biological technique could allow us to ‘edit out’ genetic disease in future generations. But what would be the implications?

Genome editing may offer benefits to people at risk of passing on some medical conditions by allowing genetic variants that are associated with inherited illness or disease risk to be ‘edited out’. The technique could also be used to target characteristics other than those associated with illness and health.

The Council wanted to hear as wide a range of views as possible on ethical questions about these potential uses of genome editing and how far we, as a society, should go in altering fundamental aspects of human biology.

Public survey

This survey closed on 14 July. 

The survey set out three scenarios to that could plausibly arise in the future, each followed by a set of questions to explore the ethical considerations.

Download a preview of the survey here.

The survey can also be used as a tool for anyone facilitating discussion about genome editing technologies. If you would be interested in using it for this purpose, please contact us at

Call for evidence

Alongside the public survey, our 2016 call for evidence, which aimed to gather more in-depth information from organisations and individuals with an existing interest in or knowledge about genome editing closed on 14 July. The questions were similar to those in our 2015-2016 call for evidence on genome editing but focussed on human reproductive uses.

Download the consultation document (Word)

Previous work

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Nuffield Council on Bioethics
28 Bedford Square

+44 (0)20 7681 9619

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