Switzerland: The Federal Head of Department prevents eugenic spin-offs of PGD

Publié le : 21 March 2014

 On Tuesday, 11 March 2014, in Switzerland, the Council of States authorised pre-implantation genetic diagnostics (PGD) for couples with a serious disease, excluding this for Down syndrome screening or for the production of "designer babies" (Cf Synthèse de presse Gènéthique du 11/03/2014 et 12/03/2014).

On Saturday 15 March, on the SRF1 radio station, the Head of the Federal Department of the Interior, Alain Berset, rejoiced in the decision of the State Council but clung resolutely to "guard against any desire to leave the rigid legal framework approved by the Federal Council in terms of pre-implantation genetic diagnostics": "Otherwise we risk opening Pandora’s box", he explained and went on to add: "We must not play with life. We know where it starts but don’t know where it could end".

The draft law is now in the hands of the National Council (Lower Chamber), which will soon make its decision before holding a referendum.  A change in the constitution will be needed to lift the ban on PGD.

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