Reproductive genetic technologies are regulated under the Law no. 94-654 governing the donation and use of elements and products of the human body, medically assisted reproduction, and prenatal diagnosis (1994) which was revised in 2004 by the Bioethics Law no. 2004-800. The new Bioethics Law created the French Biomedicine Agency, which is responsible for evaluating the quality and safety of medical research and practices and ensuring compliance with the present legal framework. The agency also has the mandate to license to practitioners and centers involved in reproductive technologies. PGD is permitted in France for the selection of healthy embryos when a parent or other close relative has a serious genetic disease. PGD to provide a tissue match for an ill sibling is also allowed. However, PGD for sex selection is only allowed for medical reasons and prohibited for cultural reasons or for family balancing. PND is permitted under French law, but it should be noted that all assisted reproductive technologies are only accessible to heterosexual couples who are of age to procreate and are married or have lived together for at least two years prior to the reproductive procedure. Violators of the law are sanctioned by imprisonment, fines, or revocation of licenses.
“In its Opinion no. 83 (2004), the National Consultative Ethics Committee for Health and Life Sciences takes a negative stance on prenatal screening for genetic diseases in general and for cystic fibrosis, in particular. It recommends that generalized prenatal screening for cystic fibrosis should not be encouraged at the present time. However, for carriers or at-risk families, it encourages prenatal screening before marriage or conception.”
France has signed but not ratified the 1997 European Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine.
- National Advisory Committee on Bioethics and National College of Gynaecology and Obstetricians Guidelines, (1997).
- Council of Europe, Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine, (1997).
- Code de la santé publique (Public Health Code Law no. 2001-588), (July 2001).
- Comité Consultatif National d’Éthique pour les sciences de la vie et de la santé (National Consultative Ethics Committee for Health and Life Sciences), Reflections Concerning the Extension of Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis, Opinion no. 72, (2002).
- Loi no 94-654 du 29 juillet 1994 Relative au Don et à l’utilisation des Éléments et Produits du Corps Humain, à l’assistance Médicale à la Procréation et au Diagnostic Prénatal,
revised by the Loi no. 2004-800 du 6 août 2004 relative à la bioéthique
- Comité Consultatif National d’Éthique pour les sciences de la vie et de la santé (National Consultative Ethics Committee for Health and Life Sciences), Generalised Prenatal Screening for Cystic Fibrosis, Opinion no. 83, (2004).
- Agence de la biomedicine (French Biomedicine Agency).
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