Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Germany Limits Genetic Testing

Via Rebecca Skloot, the AP reports that Germany is moving to limit genetic testing:

Under the law, genetic tests can only be carried out by a doctor and require the full consent of all parties involved. That makes it illegal to conduct anonymous paternity tests and anyone found in violation could be fined up to euro5,000 ($6,525).

The law further limits the use of genetic testing on fetuses to purely medical purposes, meaning parents are prohibited from using it to determine the sex of their unborn children. In addition it prohibits the use of genetic testing for indications of a predisposition to illnesses that appear only later in life, such as breast cancer or diseases of the nervous system.

As long-time readers know, I've been calling for greater regulation of assisted reproduction technologies for some time now. Germany, and Europeans in general, are years ahead of us when it comes to grappling with the consequences of these technologies.

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