Switzerland: PGD debated in Parliament

Publié le : 14 June 2013

 On Friday 7 June, the Swiss Federal Council transmitted to the Parliament a bill which, under certain conditions, would lift the "ban on preimplantation genetic diagnosis [PGD] for couples in risk of passing on a serious [hereditary] disorder to their [future] child."   

The purpose of this bill is to "screen for the eventual disorders with an embryo conceived in vitro before being implanted in the uterus," on condition that it is "not possible to rule out in any other way the concrete danger that the child carries a genetic predisposition to a severe disease whose presence is proven in the parents." All other applications of PGD would remain forbidden: notably the ban on "screening for diseases that manifest themselves spontaneously such as Down syndrome" or aimed at "selecting what could be called a ‘medicine baby’ in view of a donation intended for a sick brother or sister."      
Moreover, whereas currently a maximum of three embryos can be developed in each cycle of in-vitro fertilization, the bill proposes the eight can be developed.   
A further feature of the bill is that it would be possible for women "to be implanted with only a single embryo and have the others frozen in view of new attempts to provoke pregnancy." Currently, the three viable embryos "must be implanted in the mother’s uterus.
If Parliament adopts the bill, the populations of the cantons will then be called to vote in a referendum on the modification of the federal Constitution before the law comes into force. 

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