The “three-parent” procedure used to birth the first baby with DNA from three parents is under fire from critics for who say it is “playing God.”
The baby boy born using the technique was born this week to a Jordanian couple in Mexico. The mother, Ibtisam Shaban, has Leigh syndrome, a fatal disease that affects the nervous system, in her mitochondrial DNA. She had no symptoms of Leigh syndrome, but her first two children died to the disease at six and eight months.
According to Stream.org, U.S. Dr. John Zhang removed the nucleus and placed it in the shell of a donor’s egg, which contained healthy mitochondria DNA. Thus, the baby would have DNA from three parents.
“Even if these babies are born they will have to be monitored all their lives, and their children will have to be as well. We do not yet know the interaction between the mitochondria and nuclear DNA. To say that it is the same as changing a battery is facile. It’s an extremely complex thing.” Dr Trevor Stammers, Program Director in Bioethics and Medical Law at St. Mary’s University, said.
Others are worried that experimenting with DNA is “playing God.”
“These regulations would authorize the crossing of a rubicon for the first time,” said British MP Fiona Bruce, who chairs the All Party Parliamentary Pro-Life Group. “It would authorize germ line therapy… to alter the genes of an individual. This is something defined by the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights as effectively constituting eugenics.”
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