/ Mom / Conception / Bioethics law: the detection of Down's syndrome rejected by the deputies
Friday, July 31, the project to experiment with chromosome screening was rejected by the deputies of the National Assembly.
by Barbara Ejenguele
This is a piece of news that has relieved many. After hours of debate, MEPs finally voted against experimenting with the detection of chromosomal abnormalities. This bill had been added to the text by the Special Assembly Committee, but the government was against it. As a reminder, preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) has existed since 1999 and allows couples, as part of an in-vitro fertilization (IVF) process, to detect whether they risk transmitting a genetic disease to their child, being them – even affected.
The extension of pre-implantation diagnosis to the search for aneuploidy (DPI-A), including trisomy 21, now tends to focus on the count of autosomes, i.e. chromosomes (except sex chromosomes to avoid any risk of discrimination). Embryos carrying trisomies, for example, could therefore be discarded during ART.
If it has divided researchers and politicians, it is probably because this project is primarily about one question: is it moral to proceed with genetic sorting? Some disability advocates have spoken of “stalking” because chromosomes with abnormalities will indeed be the subject of extensive research and will be put aside once found. The real problem is that of not giving some embryos a chance to live, and therefore of refusing the handicap as a whole.
On social media, the investment was total. Many parents of children with Down's syndrome have spoken to express their mobilization and then their relief at the announcement of the rejection of DPI-A. A petition was even launched, which collected nearly 20,000 signatures.