March 3, 2024

German court allows genetic diagnosis of IVF embryos

Landmark ruling

Embryos produced using IVF can be screened
for genetic defects before implantation into the womb, a German high court
ruled on Tuesday. Leipzig’s Federal Supreme Court ruled in favour of a Berlin
gynaecologist who carried out pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) for
three couples and implanted only the healthy embryos. The other embryos, which
possessed hereditary defects, were left to die off.

The doctor, 47, unidentified by the court,
brought the case to court himself in 2006 to clarify the legal situation. He
was acquitted by a Berlin regional court, but the city’s state prosecutor

Judge Clemens Basdorf told German news
agency DAPD that IVF embryo screening should be legal “if there is a
danger of grave genetic defects for the desired children of the patients.”
~ AP, Jul 7

Jared Yee