I read with interest the recent article in the 3/21/00 issue regarding initiatives to protect participants in gene therapy trials. At a Cold Spring Harbor Genome Meeting in May 1997, I listened to a presentation during the ELSI (Ethical, Legal and Social Implications) session which proposed that the term "genetic therapy" be abandoned as misleading. In my view, this has been shown in recent events to have been correct. It is important research. It is NOT therapy and should not be described as such. It is past time for the many workers in this field and the lay and scientific press to cease using the term "genetic therapy."
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