Clones and Three-Parent Babies

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The Anscombe Bioethics Centre is calling on all concerned people, Christian or non-Christian, to respond to an ongoing government consultation on genetically modified babies. The closing date for submissions to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) consultation on mitochondrial replacement is Friday 7 December.
Dr Helen Watt, the Centre’s Senior Research Fellow, made the following comment on the HFEA consultation:
“Mitochondrial replacement has been called ‘3-parent IVF’, but only one technique being considered would in fact produce 3-parent babies. The other technique involves a form of cloning from an early IVF embryo, using a second embryo as a shell, to produce a third, clone embryo who might then be transferred to the womb of the first embryo’s mother to be born. The first and second embryo would be killed to create the third, clone embryo.
“One technique would split genetic motherhood and give the child three genetic parents. The other technique would produce a child with no genetic parents: a child cloned instead from ‘spare parts’ harvested from earlier living embryos.
“Both techniques would affect not only individuals conceived and born but also their descendants. Both should be urgently opposed, and the Anscombe Centre has produced a briefing which we hope will be helpful to those wishing to respond to the consultation.”


Mitochondrial Replacement


How to submit your response

The consultation closes on 7 December 2012. Please use these links to find out more and respond online.

Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) information on the government consultation

Submit your response

(you will need to register on this website to participate in the process)


Dr Helen Watt: