Embryo selection to help sick siblings, but cloning banned
8 February 2005, MADRID-Spain's Socialist government announced a bill that that would allow parents of a child with an incurable disease to conceive another baby to help save the sibling's life.
8 February 2005
MADRID-Spain's Socialist government announced a bill that that would allow parents of a child with an incurable disease to conceive another baby to help save the sibling's life.
The legislation would in exceptional cases allow the therapeutic use of embryonic selection, Spanish Health Minister Elena Salgado said.
The embryos of the couple, obtained through in vitro fertilization, would be chosen and implanted in the mother's womb if they were healthy and potential donors for the sick child.
After the birth, the newborn could donate cells to help cure the sick brother or sister.
The procedure would be authorized on a case by case basis, Salgado said during a presentation in advance of the bill on assisted reproduction, which will be submitted in March to the Council of Ministers.
Before being authorized, the practice must be approved by the national commission for reproduction to ensure that it meets the highest ethical standards, a health ministry statement said.
The proposed legislation would also lift the current restrictions that limit to three the number of eggs that can be fertilized in each reproductive cycle.
It also removes restrictions imposed by the previous conservative government of former prime minister Jose Maria Aznar, which limited research to embryos frozen before 2003 in order to reduce the stock.
The proposal envisions giving infertile couples the maximum possibility of having children, while at the same banning the cloning of human beings, the health ministry statement said.
The Bishops' Conference, representing the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church in Spain, refused to comment on the proposal, referring to its statement in October that said production of human beings in a laboratory, regardless of the reason, went against human dignity and was ethically unacceptable.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news