Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) in Europe: diversity of legislation a challenge to the community and its citizens

Med Law. 2007 Jun;26(2):309-23.


Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) aims to safeguard the reproductive confidence of couples who have an increased risk of having a child with a serious hereditary disease. Non-directive genetic counselling is an essential part of PGD. Lately, performance of PGD for some new and non-medical indications, such as selecting for a tissue-matching embryo for a saviour sibling, or sex-selection for family-balancing, has raised ethical concerns. Who decides when to perform PGD, and for which conditions? The European member states have very diverse regulation on PGD. Some countries totally ban PGD, while the others keep close track of the new applications. The people in need of PGD seek it in the other member states. These cross-border treatments cause psychological stress and pose many so far unresolved legal questions. The individuals need more information about all the aspects of PGD. This article analyses contemporary indications for PGD in Europe and relevant ethical discussion, and second, shows the diversity in regulation and reflects the consequences thereof.

MeSH terms

  • Decision Making
  • Europe
  • Genetic Diseases, Inborn / genetics
  • HLA Antigens
  • Humans
  • Preimplantation Diagnosis* / ethics
  • Reproductive Techniques, Assisted / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Risk Reduction Behavior


  • HLA Antigens