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In marked contrast to Spain, Germany has decided to tighten the rules on genetic screening of embryos. Measures to be accepted by parliament tomorrow will affect screening in three main areas:

Firstly, doctors will be allowed to test for Down’s Syndrome, but not for diseases like cancer which the baby may be pre-disposed to suffer in later life. Secondly, paternity tests will only be carried out with the express permission of the baby’s mother. Finally, employers and insurance companies are to be banned from demanding genetic checks on workers or clients. This is a sensitive issue in Germany after recent scandals involving companies accused of spying on their workers.

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