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Saudi Arabia Introduces Health-based Marriage Regulations to Combat Genetic Diseases

The changes include a provision that bans marriages based on medical incompatibility

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Staff Writer, TLR

Published on April 6, 2024, 14:59:52

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saudi, marriage, future generations

Saudi Arabia has introduced new health-based marriage regulations aimed at preventing genetic diseases and promoting the well-being of future generations.

The amendments to Resolution 156 govern marriages involving Saudi nationals and non-Saudi individuals, prohibiting unions deemed "medically incompatible" under the guidelines of the "Healthy Marriage Programme."

The updated regulations specify that marriages can proceed if it is medically established, according to Ministry of Health protocols, that one partner is incapable of reproduction. Additionally, the Ministry of Health, under Cabinet decision No. 110, will identify the list of diseases subject to screening in the Healthy Marriage Programme for the public interest.

These changes are a significant advancement in preventing genetic disorders, ensuring treatment for affected individuals, and addressing related health concerns. The initiative is critical for fostering families free from prevalent hereditary blood disorders and serious infectious diseases in the Kingdom, while also promoting health awareness among prospective couples.

"Medical incompatibility," as defined by the Ministry of Health within the Healthy Marriage Programme, occurs when both parties are affected by or carriers of listed genetic diseases for screening, or when one party is affected and the other is a suspected carrier of a genetic disease.

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