CRISPR: Ethics and Jewish Law

March 2, 2021 -
8:00am to 9:00am

Rabbi Doniel Schon
Associate Dean, Kollel Jewish Learning Center
David Finegold, MD
Professor of Human Genetics, University of Pittsburgh

Abstract: The CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technique allows DNA to be cut at a specific location, to permit disabling or replacement of deleterious genes, or to turn genes on or off. It has been hailed as one of the greatest breakthroughs in biology in recent history.  It is also morally controversial. This talk will examine CRISPR-Cas9 from the perspective of Jewish law.
    The Torah states that its laws are created for people to live by, and that people should support medical and technological advances that promote the saving of lives.  As a rule, Jewish law has focused on individual circumstances and would not have a general ruling for all applications of CRISPR-Cas9, rather there would be specific rulings based on the circumstances. Jewish law would look at each application of CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing ranging from genetically removing lethal diseases, to changing eye and hair color, and issue case-specific rulings. We will explore the response of Judaism to these and other questions.

View online here.

Co-sponsored by the Center for Bioethics & Health Law, Department of Religious Studies, and Palliative and Supportive Institute of UPMC

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