Italy approves embryo law

Strict rules will mean a disaster for Italian research, say scientists

Rossella Lorenzi(Lorenzi@tin.it)
Dec 11, 2003

In a move designed to end the perception of Italy as the “Wild West of assisted reproduction,” the Italian Senate approved on Thursday (December 11) strict rules on the use of human embryos, which have been judged “unacceptable and immoral” by some of Italy's leading scientists.

Senators confirmed all 18 articles of the controversial law on assisted fertility approved by the lower House of the Italian Parliament last June. The new law will govern the field of reproductive technology with a series of bioethical bans focusing on the rights of “all subjects involved in the assisted reproduction process, including those of the conceived.”

Embryos will be untouchable: the law bans any testing of embryos for research and experimental purposes, freezing embryos or embryo suppression, and forbids preimplantation diagnosis for preventing genetically transmitted diseases.

Further, the law prohibits donor insemination, denies access to artificial reproductive techniques for single women,...

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