09:47 19 September 2012
New medical techniques are sometimes introduced to help people stay alive and healthy. Some of the biggest advancements in medicine include transplantation and IVF (in vitro fertilization).
The first was designed to prolong patients’ lives by replacing their failing vital organs. The second one is designed for couples battling infertility in order to have children.
Now, the medical society is thinking about presenting ‘Mitochondrial replacement’.
Just like IVF, it’s designed to help couples have children. The only difference is, Mitochondrial replacement involves the use of DNA from three people; for this reason, it has been dubbed as “three-parent IVF.”
The process, that will surely generate extreme opinions, aims to produce children who are free from potentially fatal genetic disease. The aim is that future generations of those families will also be free of the genetic fault.
This means that the genetic alteration would be handed down from generation to generation via the maternal line from mother to child.
Professor Lisa Jardine, Chair of the HFEA, has expressed she expected some strongly-held views on the subject.
As the BBC report, she said: “This is an area that generates extreme opinions like almost no other issue except assisted dying. That is not a surprise since they are about taking and creating life.”
Prof Jardine revealed that for the technique to be applied on clinics, the approval of the health secretary is needed. Although this will not require an Act of Parliament, debate on both Houses of Parliament would be necessary.
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