Legal recommendations for human enhancement

We are developing proposals for ethical and human-rights respectful human enhancement technologies (HET). To make sure they can be implemented effectively, we have also identified potential changes needed in existing legal and human rights frameworks at the international, EU and national levels.

In this report, currently pending approval from the European Commission, we offer recommendations for improving the enforcement, uptake and effectiveness of existing legislation in these fields. And discuss actions to take, actors involved, what should be prioritised and potential ways to address implementation challenges. With a discussion of the interrelations between ethics and law from the perspective of policymakers.

Download recommendations

Key take-aways for human enhancement technologies

  • At international level, there is a need for more interpretative guidance on how international law relates to human enhancement challenges. Considering the diversity of HET and the low level of institutionalisation of the field, a regulatory approach that seeks to address all the relevant issues in one legal instrument might not the best way to start. A more incremental building of understanding and consensus with a number of legal instruments may be more helpful at this stage.
  • At the EU level, the EU should take up a more leading role in data protection in the HE context, especially with regard to the challenges associated with the brain data. Moreover, product safety legislation in the human enhancement context may require further scrutiny (following some positive steps already taken in this area).
  • At national level, legislator(s) should review and monitor how their respective legislation responds to the human enhancement challenges and ensure that these responses are in line with the general human rights protection commitments.

For more targeted and specific recommendations, download our report

Stakeholder consultations

Ethics and human rights standards need to be considered in development and use of emerging technologies. SIENNA is working to ensure human rights and other important societal values are respected in human genetics and genomics, human enhancement technologies, and AI and robotics. As part of the process of developing and finalising its recommendations, SIENNA consulted stakeholders and engaged with policy-makers. Do check out the webinar that was held as part of this process presented Konrad Siemaszko, Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights.