#1032 for broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 8 Feb 2015
The British House of Commons voted this week to legalize a gene-therapy technique that could help women to avoid passing genetic defects onto their children.
The vote is expected to lead to the UK becoming the first country to allow the clinical transfer of DNA from diseased human eggs to healthy ones, in a technique known as mitochondrial replacement or three-person IVF.
An estimated one in 5,000 children is born with mitochondrial mutations.
“It’s great news for the patients with mitochondrial disease,” says Doug Turnbull, a neurologist at the UK’s Newcastle University.
But the Australian Christian Lobby has urged caution concerning calls for Australian trials into three-parent babies.
“The rights of children must be considered before the rights of adults,” ACL Managing Director Lyle Shelton said. “Genetically modifying children to produce healthy children may seem desirable, but … it’s unethical to pursue this inadequately tested procedure that will lead to permanent and completely unforseen ramifications for future generations.”
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.