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France battles out bioethics bill

BMJ 1994; 308 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.308.6924.291 (Published 29 January 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;308:291
  1. A Dorozynski

    France moved another step closer to having legislation on bioethics when three bills on the subject were passed by the senate last week. The bills were first introduced by the National Ethics Committee 10 years ago and have been passing back and forth between the national assembly and the senate for the past two years. The assembly is expected to give its final seal of approval this spring.

    After two weeks of debates senators have adopted legislation that is weaker than earlier proposals. It leaves more room than was expected for personal judgment by doctors and researchers.

    The first bill, drafted by the Ministry of Justice, covers general issues. It bans eugenics and allows somatic genetic treatment but not the genetic manipulation of germ cells. It opposes any patenting of the human genome and says that techniques for identifying genes must be used only in criminal investigations. As …

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