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Verdict: Preimplantation diagnosis only for serious hereditary diseases

Verdict: Preimplantation diagnosis only for serious hereditary diseases



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VGH Munich: The benchmark is Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Preimplantation diagnosis (PGD) is only permitted for particularly serious hereditary diseases. The yardstick is an inherited severe muscle weakness, specifically Duchenne muscular dystrophy, as the Bavarian Administrative Court (VGH) in Munich decided in a judgment delivered on Friday, March 15, 2019, the previous day (file number: 20 B 17.1507).

Duchenne muscular dystrophy is usually passed on to sons from the mother without the mother herself being ill. The important muscle protein dystrophin is not formed by the disease; Muscle fibers are therefore gradually being replaced by fat. This leads to muscle deterioration and usually death in young adulthood.

The VGH Munich has now made it clear that the Bavarian Ethics Committee may only consent to PGD for "serious hereditary diseases". In the Embryo Protection Act, legislators classified Duchenne muscular dystrophy as a serious hereditary disease. Therefore, it can be used for comparison. The focus should always be on the degree of hereditary disease to be expected in concrete terms and the associated effects on the parents.

In the event of a dispute, the father has myotonic dystrophy. The hereditary disease is associated with a delayed relaxation of the muscles and also with muscle weakness.

The VGH emphasized that this disease "can occur in different degrees of severity". However, only "congenital myotonic dystrophy" can be regarded as "serious" in the sense of the Embryo Protection Act, in which the most severe impairments already occur from birth. However, there is no high risk in this specific case, since this form is inherited almost exclusively through the mother, not through the father, who is only preloaded here. The VGH therefore rejected the parents' wish for PGD. mwo / fle

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