Regulation of mitochondrial replacement therapy needs to consider cross-generational consequences

How does one go about regulating the world’s first cross-generational biological experiment in human germline modification? The regulating body in charge isn’t exactly sure. They’re seeking input via an online survey.

The technique in question, called mitochondrial replacement or three-person IVF, would combine genetic material from three different people into a single embryo, causing permanent changes to the human germline, in the hopes of allowing a woman to have a child who resembles her in all but her mitochondrial disorder.

Now, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) faces the daunting task of having to determine a system to regulate these techniques within fertility clinics before the regulations come into force October 29, 2015. They are currently seeking views from experts.

But if you look at either the “lay summary” or the “background document” they have prepared, you would not necessarily understand why anyone cared so much about these technologies in the first place. Nowhere in either of these documents does it actually explain that these technologies result in human germline modification – something people just might care about since it is banned by every country that has ever considered it, as well as the Council of Europe’s Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine.

Because of this omission, they have a hard time getting to the heart of the matter – how does one regulate a cross-generational biological experiment?

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: UK Seeks Regulatory Advise for “Mitochondrial Replacement,”  Fails to Mention Cross-Generational Implications

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