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Three-person babies

July 2014

Pro-life and other ethical campaign groups have called on the government to rethink plans to create three-parent babies.

In June, a scientific review suggested that an advanced form of IVF, using three donors, would be safe and help prevent deadly disease.

Research from the Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine claims that 6,500 babies are born each year with mitochondrial disease, which can, in severe cases, cause fatal heart conditions.

At the moment, according to the Daily Mail, the government is looking at two separate techniques being devised to create three-person IVF. In each case, the third party has no legal say or right to contact with the resultant baby, despite having donated DNA.

The review, by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, claimed there was no reason to think this would be unsafe, but did require a ‘leap into the dark’. It is understood the UK’s Department of Health is assessing the legal and ethical implications, with a view to bringing three-person IVF into the UK.

A statement from pro-life charity CARE, said, ‘These procedures have significant implications for the understanding of human life. More than two individuals are contributing DNA and participating in the generation of new life. Therefore more than two people must be considered as parents.

‘A third party has intruded into the reproductive exclusivity of a couple. The genes from the third person will be passed on down the generations and will be impossible to remove from the family. This raises serious issues of personal and family identity for children born as a result of these procedures’.



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