A new IVF technique being debated in England uses three genetic parents to create an embryo. This procedure helps avoid possible mitochondrial disease, but some caution that it’s too soon to take such a radical new approach.
In a HuffPost Live segment exploring the ethical and scientific ramifications of this procedure, Marcy Darnovsky, the Associate Executive Director at the Center for Genetics and Society, confirmed that it may be too soon to take these steps.
“It’s a really kind of extreme set of biological techniques and manipulations that we don’t have very good safety information about as of now,” she assessed. “It is puzzling why the agency in the UK chose to have a public consultation on this now when the safety data is so premature and lacking.”
The article that inspired this segment, “Three-Parent Babies: Public Asked Over IVF Treatment,” further examines how our idea of family may also be altered by using advanced genetic manipulation in conception. “Critics fear that allowing mitochondrial DNA to be altered could be the start of a slippery slope leading to a "brave new world" of genetically modified designer babies.”
Darnovsky joins host Janet Varney to discuss this new type of IVF procedure with Amy Vaeger, a lawyer working in the reproductive field, Arland Nichols, Director of Education at Human Life International, and Margaret Moon, scholar in clinical medical ethics at Johns Hopkins.