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Office of Technology Assessment at the German Bundestag Office of Technology Assessment at the German Bundestag

Information on the project

Current status and developments of prenatal and pre-implantation (genetic) diagnosis

Thematic area: Biomedical technologies
Analytical approach: Monitoring
Topic initiative: Committee on Education, Research and Technology Assessment
Status: completed
Duration: 2016 till 2018

Background and central aspects of the topic

Prenatal (genetic) diagnosis is characterised by a further development of scientific and technological possibilities as well as by a qualitative and quantitative expansion of its application – but also by a certain continuity of associated ethical and psychosocial debates and challenges that involve society as a whole. For many years, the requirements and affordability or feasibility of comprehensive counselling before and after prenatal diagnosis as well as the influence on a society’s attitude towards people with (congenital) disabilities have been discussed. However, contrary to earlier forecasts, invasive chromosomal and DNA diagnoses have still not developed to be part of the standard scheme of medical pregnancy care. In recent years, the German Bundestag has repeatedly dealt with prenatal diagnosis (PND), its medical technological progress as well as its social use.

Concerning pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), attention is focused on the implementation of the Law Regulating Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (»Gesetz zur Regelung der Präimplantationsdiagnostik«, PräimpG) which came into force in December 2011. A first report by the Federal Government on experiences made with PGD, which was presented in October 2015 (Bundestag Printed Paper 18/7020), documents only a very small number of PGD examinations, since it was not until 2014 that the first PGD centres were able to start their work after the German Ordinance on PGD Regulation (»Verordnung zur Regelung der Präimplantationsdiagnostik«, PIDV) came into force.

In order to take a closer look at these developments, the Office of Technology Assessment at the German Bundestag (TAB) has been commissioned by the Committee on Education, Research and Technology Assessment to carry out a monitoring project dealing with this subject.

Project Results

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