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Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis: The Situation in France and in Other European Countries

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Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) relates exclusively to in vitro fertilisation techniques (IVF) that aim to prevent transmission of a serious genetic abnormality to the child. The genetic characteristics of the embryo created through IVF are analysed, and only the embryos free of the genetic abnormality are implanted in the womb. Performed worldwide since 1990, this technique has raised many legal and ethical debates due to the very wide variations of lawgiving between countries. This is shown by the report of the UNESCO IBC (2003), which described the techniques and the issues raised by preimplantation genetic diagnosis. In this article, the authors present the differences between prenatal diagnosis and preimplantation genetic diagnosis, the French legislation, then the range of legislation in Europe and finally the position of the European Court of Human Rights which sanctioned Italy and Latvia for refusing access to PGD.

Affiliations: 1: UMR/INSERM Unit 1027, Université Paul Sabatier ToulouseFrance ; 2: HDR en droit privé, Centre de recherche en droit privé et droit de la santé (EA 1581), Université de Paris 8 ParisFrance


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