“Legal Consequences of Genetic Textuality”

Textuality of several genetic tests, genomic research and the possibility of genome editing will soon change the landscape of the existing ethical and legal norms relevant in the field of life sciences. While genome editing is still a new technology, its potential implications suggest that we have to reexamine a number of basic ethical principles and legal arguments that govern bioethics and law. The safety and accuracy of genome editing need to be improved substantially before it can be used in medical therapy, but it already poses many challenges to established positions in bioethical debates. The recognized dichotomies that used to serve as normative anchors, such as natural versus artificial, therapy versus enhancement, and somatic versus germline will become increasingly blurred. The presentation intends to draw the contours of a new legal framework that responds to the current challenges of genomic textuality.