Full Legislative History
Resolution Number: 2003-A011
Title: Establish Ethical Guidelines for Genetic Research and Interventions
Legislative Action Taken: Concurred as Amended
Final Text:

Resolved, That the 74th General Convention recognize that God has entrusted us to use our medical and other capabilities to work toward healing and restoring creation where it has gone awry. Therefore, that the General Convention set forth the following guidelines for genetic research and interventions:

  • It is morally acceptable, in principle, to engage in experimental somatic cell human gene transfer for therapeutic purposes, in an effort to treat or prevent disease.
  • All experimental genetic interventions in human beings must meet ethical standards of research, which require that investigators demonstrate the scientific merit of their research, protect the health and welfare of human volunteers, while ensuring their volunteers' choice to participate without conflicts of interest or undue financial influence.
  • Until there is strong scientific evidence that the use of germline procedures is safe, effective, and stable across generations and that guidelines have been established for their use before they are employed, we should not consider the use of germline interventions in human beings.
  • Ongoing public oversight of research into both somatic cell and germline interventions, in both the public and private sectors, is essential. Members of a federally appointed interdisciplinary review body should be chosen by publicly accountable methods.
Citation: General Convention, Journal of the General Convention of...The Episcopal Church, Minneapolis, 2003 (New York: General Convention, 2004), p. 254f.