Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

From Someday to Mainstream to Requirement?

At the Atlantic, Conor Friedersdorf predicts that in the not-so-distant future, parents in the US may be prosecuted for failing to gene-edit their children.

He writes that a number of legislatures in the US have found that parents should be tried when they do not seek mainstream medical treatment and their child becomes severely ill or dies. As an example, Friedersdorf notes that some Christian Science parents have been tried for child endangerment and even manslaughter for not seeking medical care for a sick child.

He adds that what's considered mainstream medical treatment could expand in coming years to include gene editing. A number of people, for religious, moral, or other reasons, are likely to resist gene editing to prevent disease, he says, though he predicts that their numbers will decrease with time. Then, at some point, he says when holdouts have a child with a condition that could've been prevented, people will be seek to punish the parents.

"Or at least that is the course I foresee," he says.