.- The National Committee for Assisted Human Reproduction in Spain took the first step towards legalizing human embryo selection for the purpose of obtaining “medicinal babies,” that is, babies conceived in vitro who would serve as donors for their brothers and sisters who are ill.
The Committee, which advises the Government on matters of assisted reproduction, gave a green light to the genetic selection of embryos but it could not obtain express authorization because current Spanish law says that any procedures performed on the “pre-embryo” must be only to evaluate its viability or to detect hereditary diseases.
The law also prohibits any procedure on an embryo that is not intended for its well-being and development. Therefore it does not allow the embryo to be made into a “medicinal baby.”
The request for authorization of this type of genetic manipulation for therapeutic purposes came from the Valencian Institute of Infertility, which, after learning of the opinion of the Committee, was optimistic Health officials would grant the request “as soon as possible.”