Proposals to make the UK the first country in the world to allow three-parent babies to be born have been strongly criticised by a Christian charity.
Nola Leach, the Chief Executive of CARE, said draft legislation introduced in parliament yesterday raises “profound ethical and identity questions” as well as “huge, unanswered safety concerns”.
“It is quite extraordinary that the Government should contemplate asking MPs to vote on this hugely controversial legislation just before a General Election,” she added.
Under the rules introduced by Public Health Minister Jane Ellison, IVF clinics will legally be able to replace defective mitochondrial DNA from an egg with healthy DNA given by a donor. This process – known as “mitochondrial replacement therapy” – would reduce the number of children born with serious inherited diseases such as muscular dystrophy, but would also mean those children would technically have two mothers, or three parents in all.
Ellison said in a written statement: “The Government has run a comprehensive and transparent process over the lifetime of this Parliament to review the public acceptability of mitochondrial donation and the ongoing evidence of safety and efficacy of the new techniques involved.
“The time is now right to give Parliament the opportunity to consider and vote on these regulations.”
Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies has said that if approved, the process will “keep the UK at the forefront of scientific development,” but critics have denounced it as a form of genetic modification. The Government, however, has been keen to emphasise that no nuclear DNA, which provides physical and other traits that children inherit from their parents, would be contributed from the donor.
According to CARE, however, the process could have a devastating impact on sense of identity, particularly as the legislation stipulates that the donor parent would remain anonymous…Read More
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