The regulation of human germline genome modification in Singapore

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Australia was at the cutting edge in the development of Artificial Reproductive Technology in the 1960s and 1970s. Regulatory responses were piecemeal: only a small number of the six states and two territories enacted legislation. The regulatory response to reproductive cloning and embryonic stem cell research has been more uniform, with nationally consistent legislation in the form of the Prohibition of Human Cloning for Reproduction Act 2002 and the Research Involving Human Embryos Act 2002, together with the Gene Technology Act 2000. This regulatory regime creates a prohibitory environment for germline genome therapy in Australia and provides little scope for genome editing research involving human embryos, even under licence. This chapter discusses the Australian regulatory regime, with particular focus on this triad of legislative instruments. Although Australia has made a commitment to science and health, and recognition of the right to found a family, the special status of the embryo is a paramount consideration. This chapter concludes that, as in many other countries, Australia is at a crossroads, and Australians must decide, collectively, how far genome editing research involving human embryos should be allowed to progress.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHuman Germline Genome Modification and the Right to Science
Subtitle of host publicationA Comparative Study of National Laws and Policies
EditorsAndrea Boggio, Cesare P.R. Romano, Jessica Almqvist
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9781108759083
ISBN (Print)9781108499873
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Australia
  • Embryo research
  • Genome editing
  • Germline
  • Medically assisted reproduction
  • Prohibition of Human Cloning for Reproduction Act 2002 and the Research Involving Human Embryos Act 2002
  • Research embryo

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