The statutory health insurance funds will in future have to pay the controversial preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) for couples who have a predisposition to a serious genetic disease. It was the will of the Federal Minister of health, Jens Spahn, said first of all, the editorial network Germany (RND).

Spahn, has presented an Amendment to the date of service of the law, which is discussed in the Bundestag and the MIRROR. It is not the first foray of the Ministry of health. Recently, Spahn had asked, and liposuction in women with Lipoödem to make to the Fund performance. Critics now fear that in the future, the Ministry of health could arbitrarily decide on the costs of therapies.

cost up to 20,000 euros

studies on embryos to strict legal regulations in Germany are subject to. Only under special circumstances, an Embryo prior to the planting of all genetically may be examined; with the aid of pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, in short, PID. Either there must be the risk of serious hereditary diseases or the high probability of a stillbirth or a miscarriage. PID ethics committees to decide whether an investigation is allowed.

so Far Affected have to pay the PID itself, which costs, according to RND up to 20,000 Euro. From circles of the Ministry of health said on Tuesday, when the PID was, in certain cases, legally, should not be due to the cost of a “privilege” for the Wealthy.

How many applications for a PID, the five ethics committees in Germany are made is not collected centrally. Experts estimate about 300 to 400 cases a year. Much of it comes in front of the Bavarian ethics Committee, because there are many PID centers.


In the PID of the Embryo are removed after artificial fertilization outside of the Womb cells, to investigate the genome of mutated genes. Embryos with damage to the mother not be planted. Thus stillbirths are to be avoided, such as the birth of a severely sick child. The Bundestag had approved the PID in 2011, after an emotional dispute within narrow limits. Critics saw it as a dam breaking, all the way to “Designer babies”.

preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD)What is it about? DPA In the method are taken from a in a test tube resulting Embryo one to two cells . It comes to examining their genome . The aim is, among other things, diseases that go on too many or too few chromosomes back. In the Down’s syndrome , the chromosome 21 is, for example, three times. Possible tests on a single mutated genes , which are, for example, for muscle wasting, pulmonary and metabolic diseases, or the blood disease. Procedure 1: diagnosis in blastomeres stage and this is the most common type of test are taken from the Embryo at the third day after fertilization in a test tube one or two cells for the investigation. The Embryo is at this time in the so-called blastomeres stage . That is to say, its four to eight cells are considered to be totipotent – each individual may develop in the uterus, even to a complete organism. Totipotent cells are equal according to the German embryo protection act of an Embryo. Method 2: diagnosis at the blastocyst stage, too, at a later time, a PID, in principle, still possible, for example, in the so-called blastocyst stage . Then, the Embryo consists of about 50-200 cells. The cells of the inner cell mass are considered to be pluripotent , which means you can develop in various tissues. The diagnosis at the blastocyst stage, had applied to the Berlin physician, whose case was brought before the BGH. Alternative: polar body diagnosis In this method, only the oocyte is examined and prior to the completion of the fertilization . In view of the polar body , resulting in the tire of the ovum. They contain a set of maternal inheritance . So that the mothers can, at least, of genetic material of the ovum, indirectly, on the chromosomes-incorrect distributions check. Paternal pre-existing conditions can not be investigated. Because in this method, no Embryo is manipulated, it is not contrary to the law of embryo protection.

With the scheduled assumption of costs will be traced to the former Bundestag decision in the Performance of the funds, citing the RND from the application. A prerequisite for the assumption of costs should therefore be that the couples are married. In addition, only Egg should and cells of the two spouses, seeds are used. It was planned that a total of three Attempts will be paid for the Implantation of the studied embryos in the uterus.


Sam Yoon has many years of experiences in journalism. He has covered such areas as information technology, science, sports and politics. Yoon can be reached at 82-2-6956-6698.