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Ethical, legal and social aspects of human cerebral organoids and their governance in Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States

Pichl, Anja; Ranisch, Robert; Altinok, Ozan Altan; Antonakaki, Melpomeni; Barnhart, Andrew J.; Bassil, Katherine; Boyd, J. Lomax; Chinaia, Alice Andrea; Diner, Sarah; Gaillard, Maxence; Greely, Henry T.; Jowitt, Joshua; Kreitmair, Karola; Lawrence, David; Lee, Tim Nicholas; McKeown, Alex; Sachdev, Vorathep; Schicktanz, Silke; Sugarman, Jeremy; Trettenbach, Katharina; Wiese, Lara; Wolff, Hannes; Árnason, Garðar

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Authors

Anja Pichl

Robert Ranisch

Ozan Altan Altinok

Melpomeni Antonakaki

Andrew J. Barnhart

Katherine Bassil

J. Lomax Boyd

Alice Andrea Chinaia

Sarah Diner

Maxence Gaillard

Henry T. Greely

Joshua Jowitt

Karola Kreitmair

Tim Nicholas Lee

Alex McKeown

Vorathep Sachdev

Silke Schicktanz

Jeremy Sugarman

Katharina Trettenbach

Lara Wiese

Hannes Wolff

Garðar Árnason



Abstract

Human cerebral organoids (HCOs) are model systems that enable researchers to investigate the human brain in ways that had previously been impossible. The emergence of HCOs was accompanied by both expert and layperson discussions concerning the possibility of these novel entities developing sentience or consciousness. Such concerns are reflected in deliberations about how to handle and regulate their use. This perspective article resulted from an international and interdisciplinary research retreat “Ethical, Legal and Social Aspects of Human Cerebral Organoids and their Governance in Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States”, which took place in Tübingen, Germany, in August 2022. The retreat focused on whether HCO research requires new ethical and regulatory approaches. It addressed epistemic issues around the detection and theorisation of consciousness, ethical concerns around moral status and research conduct, difficulties for legislation and guidelines managing these entities, and public engagement.

Citation

Pichl, A., Ranisch, R., Altinok, O. A., Antonakaki, M., Barnhart, A. J., Bassil, K., …Árnason, G. (2023). Ethical, legal and social aspects of human cerebral organoids and their governance in Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States. Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology, 11, Article 1194706. https://doi.org/10.3389/fcell.2023.1194706

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 27, 2023
Online Publication Date Nov 13, 2023
Publication Date 2023
Deposit Date Jan 25, 2024
Publicly Available Date Jan 25, 2024
Journal Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology
Publisher Frontiers Media
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 11
Article Number 1194706
DOI https://doi.org/10.3389/fcell.2023.1194706
Keywords ELSA, moral status, consciousness, brain organoid, public engagement, governance, human cerebral organoids, ethics
Public URL https://durham-repository.worktribe.com/output/1965790

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