Britain Becomes First Country to Approve Three-Parent IVF

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    While there are a variety of different types of IVF treatments to help couples achieve their dream of having a child, a kind of treatment is making waves internationally.

    Britain recently became the first country in the entire world to approve a highly controversial treatment known as three-parent IVF (In Vitro Fertilization), which allows parents to be to make human embryos using DNA from three different individuals.

    Following a heated 90 minute debate, British lawmakers overwhelmingly voted in favor of the law. While the majority of IVF treatments and infertility procedures solely focus on creating a baby, thee-parent IVF treatments focus on creating babies that are void of certain incurable genetic diseases such as mitochondrial disease.

    Genetic mutations in the mitochondria can cause a variety of chronic illness that may severely limit and affect the quality of a child’s life, including organ failure, dementia, heart disease, diabetes, and even deafness. Symptoms of mitochondrial disease do not always appear at birth, and may manifest later in life.

    These ailments are estimated to affect one in every 5,000 to 10,000 live births in the United States, however other estimates indicate much higher figure at 1 in every 200.

    Unlike traditional IVF treatments, the procedure involves replacing an egg’s defective mitochondrial DNA with healthy DNA from another female donor’s egg. This results in babies with less than 1 percent of the second woman’s DNA. The change is permanent and will continued to be passed down through generations.

    However, the Catholic Church — who has always been reluctant to accept infertility treatments — and other critics fear three-person IVF will lead to further genetic modification in children. In addition, the Catholic Church objects to the procedure as it may involve the destruction of human embryos.

    “The human embryo is a new human life, and it should be respected and protected from the moment of conception,” Bishop John Sherrington said in a recent statement.
    To learn more, read this.