The French Government officially published in its official paper on February 6, the decree relative to research on the embryo, and therefore altering the current code of public health, The law itself was voted in August 2004.
This decree defines the conditions under which research on embryonic stem cells and human embryos can be carried out, and the way in which scientists can acquire them.
Scientists are going to be able to work on embryos obtained through in vitro fecundation (IVF) and given away by the parents of these embryos. The authorization should be written. These embryos can stem either from the pre-implantatory diagnosis or from the selection of embryos “which are not susceptible of being transferred or conserved,” before the transfer to the uterus of the mother, or either from the “outnumbering” embryos who are not part of a parenting project anymore. In the last case, a reflection deadline of three months is given to couples to give their final decisions.
The importation of embryonic stem cells and fetal tissue remains allowed under the condition that they come from abortions and In Vitro fecundations carried out “in the respect of the principles fixed by the articles 16 to 16-8 of the civil code, with prior consent of the women,” or “the genitor couple,” “without any sort of payment can be made.”
The Agency of bio-medicine is to give the authorizations necessary for the laboratories concerned.
There are approximately 120 000 frozen human embryos frozen in the French centers for assisted procreation,” explains Carine Camby, general director of the Agency of Bio-medicine.