Tuesday 19 October 2021

Dutch to change law on embryo research to help childless couples

Dividing human cells. Photo: Depositphotos.com

Dividing human cells. Photo: Depositphotos.com

The Dutch government is to change the law on embryos to allow them to be grown for ‘very specific’ scientific research under ‘strict conditions’ in an effort to help people unable to have children.

Health minister Edith Schippers told MPs in a briefing she plans to widen the rules which currently only allow limited experiments on embryos left over from in vitro fertilisation, with the permission of the donors.

‘The research is for ‘infertility, artificial reproduction techniques and hereditary or congenital diseases’, the statement said. People who became infertile after having cancer at a young age will also benefit.

However, the 14-day rule, which states that embryos cannot be cultured for longer than that period, will be strictly adhered to, Schippers told MPs.

The minister is adopting a ‘no, unless strategy under strict conditions’, the statement said.

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