Three-parent IVF policy in Britain raises ethical debate

Three parent babies born from a controversial IVF technique which uses the donor DNA to fix genetic defects will never be able find out the identify of their ‘second mother’, it has emerged.

Yesterday the government began the process of changing the law to allow ‘mitochondrial DNA transfer’ following a three month consultation.

Under the technique, parents at high risk of having children with severe disabilities such as muscular dystrophy will be offered donor DNA to mend genetic flaws.

New regulations will be put before parliament this autumn, and initial treatments could begin next spring with the first babies being born in early 2016.

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But under the guidelines, children born by the technique would never know the identity of their ‘second mother,’ and would only be able to find out ‘non-identifiable’ information at the age of 16.

Campaign groups said the practice was unethical and warned that it could make it difficult for children to develop a healthy sense of identity and throw up contentious legal dilemmas, should DNA donors want to contact youngsters in the future.

“The procedure has not been sufficiently thought through from an ethical perspective,” said Dr Calum MacKellar, Director of Research of the Scottish Council on Human Bioethics.

Read the full, original story: Three parent babies banned from knowing ‘second mothers’

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