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Bioethics Advisory Committee [Singapore]

The report on genetic testing issued by the Bioethics Advisory Committee (BAC) states that PGD is a valuable option for couples since it allows the detection of certain genetic diseases. However, the process remains ethically debatable because of concerns that PGD can, in principle, be used to select favorable traits, rather than to exclude of genetic diseases. The BAC recommends that PGD be permitted, but subject to licensing and monitoring by a relevant authority (i.e., a research ethics committee or institutional review board) and should be limited to the prevention of serious genetic disorders. PGD for non-medical sex selection should be prohibited. In addition, any research involving human embryos for reproductive purposes should require prior approval from the Ministry of Health.

The BAC further recommends that PND be limited to the detection of serious medical disorders and not allowed for non-medical purposes.

The BAC guidelines reflect the views expressed in the Ministry of Health’s directive concerning assisted reproductive services. The Ministry of Health prohibits ART for non-medical purposes and adds that these reproductive procedures should only be carried out on married couples. Sperm-sorting techniques for sex selection is explicitly prohibited. Furthermore, before providing PGD or any other new services, all assisted reproductive centers must obtain approval from the Ministry of Health.

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