5 authorisations for research on embryos recognised as illegal

The Foundation has announced the success of several cases it initiated in 2012 to contest the five authorisations given by the French biomedicine agency (ABM) concerning embryonic research.

1) Why they are illegal

The five decisions have been declared illegal because the ABM authorised the work, leading to the destruction of embryos, to be undertaken without making sure the following legal obligations were respected (*):

a. consent of the parents of the embryos involved ,

b. the free and informed consent, i.e., after having been informed about:

i. the possibility of the embryos being given to another couple,
ii. the nature of the research intended,
iii. the obligation to confirm the consent after 3 months.

This comes as a reinforcement of the Jérôme Lejeune Foundation’s previous success in regards to the case it had initiated in 2008. On December 23rd 2014, the State council cancelled the ABM’s first authorisation on the grounds that it had not provided sufficient arguments for its decision regarding legal obligations.

2) A lack of regard concerning the law unacceptable, worrying and significant

The Administrative Tribunal’s ruling today, the same as the State Council’s last December, should cause the ABM, who has just celebrated its 10th anniversary, to question its past – concerning embryonic research control.

This lack of regard concerning the law is all the more unacceptable as the law between 2004 and 2013 made embryo destruction illegal.

It is all the more worrying because since 2013 the French law has instigated a regime which authorises their destruction, by nature even more destructive of human lives in the embryonic stage than it used be.

It is all the more significant as the following transgressions are already being discussed in parliament: an amendment to the law on health was voted (on April 14th) in order to put in place a special regime for research so as to satisfy the needs of medically assisted procreation (MAP).

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