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Table 2.

Frameworks associated with bioethical decision making.

Bioethical FrameworkDescriptionPertinent Example
Rights and responsibilities The rights of one imply the responsibilities (or duties) of another to ensure those rights. The imperative to treat cancer patients with available, though perhaps not fully tested, gene-based therapies 
Consequentialism The benefits and harms resulting from an action must be weighed against each other. Using gene drives to eradicate the Anopholes mosquito in an attempt to eliminate malaria 
Autonomy An individual's right to choose for oneself may or may not exceed the benefit of a single decision applicable to everyone. Editing human embryos and germ cells without the consent of the embryo or future generations 
Virtue Decisions should be congruent with what the community accepts as “good,” such as honesty and kindness. Creating genetic models of human disease in primates 
Bioethical FrameworkDescriptionPertinent Example
Rights and responsibilities The rights of one imply the responsibilities (or duties) of another to ensure those rights. The imperative to treat cancer patients with available, though perhaps not fully tested, gene-based therapies 
Consequentialism The benefits and harms resulting from an action must be weighed against each other. Using gene drives to eradicate the Anopholes mosquito in an attempt to eliminate malaria 
Autonomy An individual's right to choose for oneself may or may not exceed the benefit of a single decision applicable to everyone. Editing human embryos and germ cells without the consent of the embryo or future generations 
Virtue Decisions should be congruent with what the community accepts as “good,” such as honesty and kindness. Creating genetic models of human disease in primates 
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