Framing and legitimating EU legal regulation of human gene-editing technologies: key facets and functions of an imaginary

Mahalatchimy, Aurélie, Lau, Pin Lean, Li, Phoebe and Flear, Mark L (2021) Framing and legitimating EU legal regulation of human gene-editing technologies: key facets and functions of an imaginary. Journal of Law and the Biosciences, 8 (2). pp. 1-30. ISSN 2053-9711

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Gene-editing technologies, ie those able to make changes in the DNA of an organism, are the object of global competition and a regulatory race between countries and regions. There is an attempt to craft legal frameworks protective enough for users, but flexible enough for developers of gene-editing technologies. This article examines the imaginary built into the framing of EU-level legal regulation of human gene-editing technologies and identifies its three key related facets: the tension around naturalness; safeguarding morality and ethics; and the pursuit of medical objectives for the protection of human health. Concerns around the use of gene-editing technologies in relation to eugenics and human enhancement have produced a multifaceted imaginary. We argue that this imaginary not only places a limit on EU-level regulation, despite a strong EU competence in respect of the internal market, but also seeks to ensure its legitimation.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Gene editing, Imaginaries, European Union, Framing, Law, Science and Technology Studies
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Law
Research Centres and Groups: Centre for Global Health Policy
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2020 07:48
Last Modified: 25 Feb 2022 13:17

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Project NameSussex Project NumberFunderFunder Ref
Biomodifying technologies and experimental space: organisational and regulatory implications for the translation and valuation of health researchG2291ESRC-ECONOMIC & SOCIAL RESEARCH COUNCILES/P002943/1
Biomodifying technologies: Governing converging research in the life sciencesG2501LEVERHULME TRUSTRPG-2017-330