In Switzerland, the hearing of the draft bill on genetic testing within the scope of in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) entered its last phase on Monday, 24 November.
In June 2014, the National Council declared itself in favour of pre-implantation genetic diagnostics (PGD) for couples at risk of transmitting a serious disorder to their child and promoted in-vitro screening for Down syndrome. (See Gènéthique 04.06.2014 press summary). In September, it was the turn of the Council of States. The latter was also in favour of PGD for Down syndrome (Gènéthique See Gènéthique 09.09.2014 press summary).
However, one discrepancy still remains between the two chambers in terms of the “number of embryos to be developed” per in-vitro fertilisation cycle (See Gènéthique 11.03.2014 press summary). The National Council did not want to set a limit. A compromise appears to have been reached noting that the initial draft bill provided for 3 to 8 embryos. The National Council opted to set the maximum number of “manufactured” embryos to 12. This limit is currently set at 3 for IVF. Even if the two chambers reach a consensus, this decision remains with the people. A change in the constitution is, in fact, required.
Embryo preservation is prohibited in Switzerland. This ban may be lifted. Finally, “the posthumous use of donor sperm would be authorised”.