A ruling today brings the prospects of ‘designer babies’ a step closer to reality. The UK has approved three person IVF (in vitro fertilization) which experts say could remove the chance of fatal diseases passing down the mitochondrial DNA strand from the female line.
Defective mitochondrial DNA affects one in 6500 babies,
Opponents adamant that the procedure is unethical are arguing that there are other methods available to women affected by mitochondrial disorders.
Earlier this year, a public consultation by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) concluded there was “general support” for the idea and that there was no evidence that the advanced form of IVF was unsafe. The chief medical officer for England, Prof Dame Sally Davies, said:
“Scientists have developed ground-breaking new procedures which could stop these disease being passed on, bringing hope to many families seeking to prevent their future children inheriting them.
“It’s only right that we look to introduce this life-saving treatment as soon as we can.” (Source)
Josephine Quintaville, founder of CORE (Comment on Reproductive Ethics) said:
“We’re obviously outraged, but it’s not just my outrage and the outrage of many people in the United Kingdom – it’s worldwide. People just mustn’t sit back comfortably and think this is a great idea; we’re going to cure disease and get better. It’s crossing a line that many, many experts in ethics and genetics and scientists generally are very concerned about worldwide.” (Source)
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Chris Carrington is a writer, researcher and lecturer with a background in science, technology and environmental studies. Chris is an editor for The Daily Sheeple. Wake the flock up!