The British government is currently considering whether to approve controversial procedures that could make three-parent child a reality.
Two procedures, currently limited only to research, can help prevent hereditary diseases being passed on to the offspring. Both of the procedures involve the removal of genetic material from the mother and transferring it to another egg with mitochondria from a donor.
AdvertisementThe transfer of the genetic material is done in the first procedure after the egg has been fertilized while the second procedure involves transferring the genetic material before the egg is fertilized. Researchers say that such a procedure can prevent passing down of hereditary diseases to the offspring and though the child has genetic material from three people, the mitochondria donated constitutes a very small portion of genetic material.
The Department of Health has stated that it is consulting with the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority to see whether such procedures can be offered to women with serious hereditary diseases. "Such a move raises important questions, which is why we have asked the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority to conduct a thorough consultation, which includes gathering evidence from experts and seeking views from members of the public", the Department of Health spokesman said.