Eleven Media Group reports that four leading Chinese ethics’ scholars urge government authorities to tighten up scientific research oversight to mitigate growing risks involving unethical activities in clinical research. Published in Nature, the spark for more oversight came from the recent Chinese research that sought to alter twin babies genes to make them immune from HIV.
The four Chinese scholars noted “China is at a crossroads” and must make substantial changes to protect human life from negligent experimentation. The authors included:
- Lei Ruipeng, professor of bioethics, School of the Humanities and Centre for Bioethics, Huazhong University of Science and Technology
- Zhai Xiapmei, professor of bioethics and health policy, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences’ Centre for Bioethics
- Zhu Wei, associate professor, Fudan University’s Centre for Applied Ethics
- Qiu Renzong, a philosophy of science and bioethics professor, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences’ Institute of Philosophy
The four seek greater government clarity on rules and regulations on the use of technologies as well as sharper punishments for those who stray from the norm. They reported in their editorial that “self-regulation of scientists is unlikely to be enough, given their potential conflicts of interest under market pressures. Thus, top-down regulation is critical.