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9 - The Regulation of Human Germline Genome Modification in Belgium

from Part II - Europe

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 November 2019

Andrea Boggio
Affiliation:
Bryant University, Rhode Island
Cesare P. R. Romano
Affiliation:
Loyola Marymount University, California
Jessica Almqvist
Affiliation:
Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
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Summary

Belgium regulates research on human embryos, including germline modification, mainly through the 2003 Law regarding Research on Embryos In Vitro and the 2007 Law regarding Medically Assisted Reproduction and the Disposition of Embryos and Gametes. It allows the creation of embryos for research when the research goal cannot be reached by research on supernumerary embryos. The lawmaker only recognizes a gradual difference between embryos created for reproduction and later used for research and embryos specifically created for research purposes. The general rule in research is that no research can be performed for eugenic goals, i.e., selection or improvement of non-pathological characteristics of the human species. Everything that is not prohibited by the law is allowed. The conclusion, supported by the parliamentary debate, is that germline genome editing is permitted for corrective purposes (meaning elimination or correction of genetic diseases), if approval of the local ethics committee and the Federal Commission on scientific research on embryos in vitro is obtained.

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Chapter
Information
Human Germline Genome Modification and the Right to Science
A Comparative Study of National Laws and Policies
, pp. 266 - 280
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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