He Jiankui´s gene-editing experiment and the non-identity problem

Marcos Alonso, Julian Savulescu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Genetic engineering has been a topic of discussion for over 50 years, but it is only recently that gene editing has become a reality. CRISPR biotechnologies have made gene editing much safer, precise and feasible. We have witnessed the first cases of human germline genetic modification resulting in live births, conducted by He Jiankui. In this paper, we will analyse He Jiankui’s case in relation to one of the most difficult problems in procreative ethics (or the ethics of future generations): the non-identity problem. We believe that this analysis will help us to understand the ethics involved in gene editing and hopefully allow for a better, more philosophically grounded legislation on CRISPR and other gene-editing technologies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)563-573
Number of pages11
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • He Jiankui
  • future people ethics
  • gene editing
  • non-identity
  • procreative ethics


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