Switzerland: A National commission in favour of PGD for Down syndrome

Publié le : 4 April 2014

 On Thursday 27 March, the National Science Commission (i.e. commissioned by the National Council – the Lower House of Parliament) declared itself in favour of pre-implantation genetic diagnostics for Down syndrome, by 16 votes to 4 and 5 abstentions.           

In adopting this bill, the commission has distanced itself from the system proposed by the Federal Council and authorised by the State Council (Gènéthique press review on March 10th, 2013). "With 16 votes to 3, the National Science Commission has refused to remove the age limit at which a hereditary disease should be reported to allow in-vitro embryo testing and to make it an exclusion criterion". It has yet to make a decision regarding the possible authorisation of “designer babies”.    

The debate on the draft law started on 11 March 2014. Since a change in the Swiss constitution was necessary in order to allow "couples at risk of transmitting a serious disease to their child [to have recourse to] Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD)" the referendum will be the last stage in the procedure.

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