France finally updates its bioethics

France will soon have a new bioethics law. After months of debate, by a vote of 170 to 157, the Senate approved a bill which offers something for each side of the debate.

Anonymous sperm donation will be allowed. Posthumous reproduction is banned. Surrogate motherhood is banned. Research on embryos and embryonic stem cells is permitted in exceptional cases, subject to approval by the “Agence de biomédecine.” Researchers may use only surplus embryos from IVF treatment.

Organ donors have to have had a strong emotional attachment to the recipient for at least two years. Doctors will have to inform pregnant women of tests for prenatal defects.

IVF is permitted for any couple which suffers from real infertility, not social infertility. Hence – to the disgust of many deputies, homosexual couples have been banned from creating IVF children. One left-wing deputy described the law as “regressive and even dangerous”. The law is to be revised at least every seven years. ~ Genethique, June 24, AFP, June 23

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