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Acta Bioethica

SciELO Chile

Genetics and biotechnology at the border of law


  • Carlos María Romeo Casabona*


aw concerning the human genome and biotechnologies has moved slowly -especially in the scope of International Law- from a soft law (juridical norms not essentially compulsory or coercive, but rather exhortative), towards a Law characterized by obligatory rules, backed, more and more frequently, by penalties and other juridical consequences.

In this sense, we attend to the remodeling of values linked to the human genome, whose juridical protection might characterize them as subjective rights or juridical benefits. Among them we may point out: the need to respect the human being, both as a person and as belonging to the human species; the responsibility of today's generations in regard to the future ones; the protection of the human identity (personal and biological or genetic); the consideration of the human genome as humanity's patrimony; the acknowledgement of biological diversity, etc.


Genetics, biotechnology, bioethics, human genome, human rights.

Author Biography

Carlos María Romeo Casabona*

Profesor de Derecho Penal. Director de la Cátedra Interuniversitaria Fundación BBVA - Diputación Foral de Bizkaia de Derecho y Genoma Humano, Universidad de Deusto y Universidad del País Vasco/EHU.