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Health Minister calls for clearer rules on “designer babies”


Limits for reproductive medicine: clearer rules for "designer babies" are required
The developments in reproductive medicine in the past few years have contributed to the fact that more couples who previously had no children can now have children. According to experts, however, not everything that is medically possible is ethically justifiable. Bavaria's Health Minister Huml has now called for clearer rules in this area.

Reproductive medicine must have clear limits
A professor at the University of Stanford (USA) made the thesis last year that sex about having children will no longer be significant in around 20 years. This is made possible by advances in reproductive medicine. Enormous developments have indeed been recorded in this area in the past decades. For example, it is currently planned in Great Britain to produce children with the genetic makeup of three people. And in Germany, uterine transplants are to be carried out in order to make women want to have children. According to experts, reproductive medicine must also have clear limits.

Not everything is ethically justifiable
Bavaria's Minister of Health Melanie Huml has called for clearer rules for reproductive medicine.

"All methods of reproductive medicine should be regulated in a comprehensive law. Scientific progress can be an important aid for couples who want to have children. But not everything that is medically possible is ethically justifiable, ”said Huml, according to a ministry statement.

So far, large parts of reproductive medicine have been regulated in the Embryo Protection Act. It is a federal law that came into force in 1991. As stated in the communication, the regulations no longer cover all of today's options in modern medicine.

Preimplantation diagnosis only in exceptional cases
The minister, who is a certified doctor, warned against ill-considered approaches to so-called designer babies. According to Huml, the Free State ensures that "medical options such as pre-implantation diagnostics (PGD) are used responsibly".

She went on to say: “Under no circumstances should PGD be perceived as a selection tool. Rather, the top priority is always the protection of life. "

Preimplantation diagnosis is the genetic examination of an embryo created by artificial insemination before it is transferred to the uterus. It is specifically targeted for hereditary diseases or chromosomal abnormalities.

According to the Embryo Protection Act, PGD may only be performed in exceptional cases and under strict conditions. (ad)

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