Partial PID approval rejected
Vienna - The disputed pre-implantation diagnosis (PID) will not be introduced in Austria for the time being. In mid-September the Austrian conservative health minister Maria Rauch-Kallat (ÖVP) withdrew a passage in the draft of the genetic engineering law, which is currently debated in the Council of Ministers. The new law would have permitted PID of artificially fertilized embryos, which is forbidden so far in a number of specific cases. Against the partial approval were the Association for Life (Aktion Leben) and the Ministry of Justice, which had expressed doubts. The catholic church welcomed the decision. The ministerial draft had envisaged to permit PID only after at least three failed attempts of an artificial fertilization had raised suspicions that the implanted fetus would die due to a genetic defect before or soon after birth. In these cases - and not with serious disabilities like the down syndrome - fertilized ovums in which the defect did not exist should have been selected.