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15 - The Regulation of Human Germline Genome Modification in Switzerland

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

The use of genetic technologies for reproductive, farming, agricultural and scientific purposes has long been a matter of public concern in Switzerland. As a result of a series of legislative initiatives at the federal level, as well as of popular referenda, the country developed one of the most restrictive regulatory environments in Europe for research, potentially leading to human germline genome modification. In particular, any genetic manipulation of reproductive cells or embryos is strictly forbidden, regardless its intended purpose. This chapter will illustrate the way constitutional- and federal-level legislation, as well as international law and regulatory provisions rigidly constrain research activities that could potentially lead to genetic alterations in humans and their progeny. In such a restrictive context, it is highly unlikely that recent technical advances in genetic engineering and genome editing will be employed to produce germline genome modifications for either medical or purely scientific purposes. Furthermore, while the Swiss National Advisory Commission for Biomedical Ethics has recently expressed partial support for basic research possibly involving the genetic modification of human embryos, there are currently no indications that legislative initiatives will be undertaken to ease current regulations on such controversial matters.

Type
Chapter
Information
Human Germline Genome Modification and the Right to Science
A Comparative Study of National Laws and Policies
, pp. 409 - 438
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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