Key laws and policies
- Medical Research Act No. 488/1999 (1999, amended 2004)
The Act on Assisted Fertility Treatments (1237/2006) bans the production of embryos for research purposes (Section 13) and prohibits “research on embryos and gametes for the purpose of developing procedures for modifying hereditary properties…unless the research is for the purpose of curing or preventing a serious hereditary disease” (Section 15).
Section 26 imposes penalties on anyone who "conducts research with the aim of:
- Cloning human beings
- Creating a human being by combining embryos
- Creating a human being by combining human gametes and genes from animals"
However, the act defines embryo as a fusion of gametes, so therapeutic cloning is permitted, but reproductive cloning is prohibited.
The prohibition on inheritable genetic modification is implicit. Note: The Medical Research Act bans research "for the purpose of developing procedures for modifying hereditary properties…unless the research is for the purpose of curing or preventing a serious hereditary disease."
Surrogacy is generally prohibited under the 2006 Act on Assisted Fertility Treatments.
Permitted and regulated practices
The Act on Assisted Fertility Treatments (1237/2006) (which came into effect on 1 September 2007) applies to the provision of assisted fertility treatment in which a human gamete or an embryo is placed in a woman for the purpose of creating a pregnancy.
The Act also applies to the donation and storage of gametes and embryos for use in assisted fertility treatment.
- PGD: Section 5 provides that “the health of the child to be born may be influenced by selecting gametes or embryos that have been verified to be free of serious disease. Determination of the child’s sex maybe influenced if the gametes used in the assisted fertility treatment are the couple’s own and the child born from these gametes would be at substantial risk of serious disease if the child were to be of the other sex.”
- Embryo Donation: Section 20 provides that “a couple may donate extra embryos created for use in their own assisted fertility treatment for use in the assisted fertility treatment of another. The consent of both the woman and the man is required for donation, and both shall be considered donors.”
- Laboratories that perform embryo research need a license from the National Authority for Medicolegal Affairs and a written consent from both gamete donors is required.
- Payment for gametes or embryos is banned, although reasonable expenses and loss of income may be reimbursed.
See English translation of Act on Assisted Fertility Treatments (1237/2006): http://www.finlex.fi/en/laki/kaannokset/2006/20061237.