In light of the German Federal Court of Justice’s ruling on the Embryo Protection Act of 2010, the Leopoldina, in its capacity as the National Academy of Sciences, saw it as its task to discuss the legal regulation and possible restriction of the use of preimplantation genetic diagnosis from a scientific perspective and issue a statement on this controversial issue. A working group comprised of experts from the relevant fields was established in November 2010 and released its statement in January 2011.
In preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), embryos are screened for genetic conditions before implantation in the uterus to enable parents at high risk of having a child with a serious genetic disease or a pregnancy ending in miscarriage or stillbirth due to genetic defects to improve their chances of having healthy children. PGD had been regarded as illegal in Germany under the country’s Embryo Protection Act until 6 July 2010, when the German Federal Court of Justice ruled that PGD is not explicitly prohibited in the Act and is thus legal. As the legislative body, the German Bundestag was asked to draft a bill that would provide a legal framework regulating the use of PGD.
Reproduction Biology, -Medicine and Gynecology
Developmental Biology and General Genetics
Philosophy and Ethics
ML = Member of the Leopoldina
Subject Life Sciences
Head of Department Science – Policy – Society, Head of Berlin Office
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Scientific officer, Deputy Head of Department Science – Policy – Society