The Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine (the Oviedo Convention) sets out two principles concerning embryos (Articles 14 and 18). It forbids the use of techniques of medically assisted procreation for the purpose of choosing a future child's sex (except where serious hereditary sex-related disease is to be avoided) and the creation of human embryos for research purposes. It also stipulates that, where the law allows research on embryos, it shall ensure adequate protection of the embryo.
Scientific, technological and medical developments that involve an intervention on an embryo or foetus have not stopped increasing, raising ethical and legal questions. Faced with such developments, it appears important to undertake a deeper reflection on questions relating to the protection of the human embryo and foetus and the use of medically assisted procreation techniques with a view to supplementing the protective provisions set out in the framework of the Convention. To that end, a Working Party have studied the ethical and legal problems linked to the possibilities of intervention on the human embryo and foetus.
The work of the Working Party has particularly focussed on the fundamental questions surrounding the question of the protection of the embryo and foetus in the framework of in vitro fertilisation procedures, as well as the problems raised by preimplantation diagnosis and by recent developments in the research field.
It appears that, while a large number of issues relating to the protection of the embryo in vitro are the subjects of consensus at European level, on certain points there remains a great diversity of opinion that makes it difficult to identify a common approach. In that context, it was considered that a report, making the most of the reflection within the Working Party on the protection of the human embryo in vitro , would be a useful step to advance discussions on an ethical level on these issues.
That report, made public on 19 June 2003, presents briefly and impartially the diverse positions that exist on questions related to the protection of the human embryo in vitro as well as their underlying arguments. It broaches the different questions of principle concerning the protection of the human embryo in vitro that are relevant from the point of view of all the problems touched on in the report. It then deals with the problems raised by in vitro fertilisation, research on the embryo in vitro and preimplantation genetic diagnosis respectively.
30 June 2017
The course, to be finalized by the end of 2017, will be addressed to both legal professionals (judges, lawyers and prosecutors) and medical and other health-care professionals. These two professional groups have been selected because of their responsibility for the implementation of Human Rights...
29 June 2017
Recent case-law of the European Court of Human Rights together with the jurisprudence of the Russian courts reflect the topicality of this issue. It demonstrates also the importance of examining the implementation of this principle from both medical and legal perspectives. The Conference will do...
The session was moderated by Tamara V. Shashikhina, Director of the European Studies Institute. Lyalya A. Gabbasova, Adviser to the Minister of Health of the Russian Federation, spoke about the new legislation in the field of transplantation referring to relevant Council of Europe legal...
Additional Protocol to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Dignity of the Human Being with regard to the Application of Biology and Medicine, on the Prohibition of Cloning Human Beings
The protection of the human embryo in vitro - Report by the Working Party on the Protection of the Human Embryo and Fetus
Защита эмбриона человека in vitro - Доклад Рабочей группы по защите эмбриона и плода человека
Questionnaire on access to medically assisted procreation (MAP) and on right to know about their origin - Replies by the member States to the