Birth following “three-parent IVF”: reactions

Publié le 14 Oct, 2016

The birth of the first “three-parent baby” disclosed last week, no doubt pre-empting the next scientific publication, is under discussion (see Birth of the first “three-parent baby”: a dangerous and irresponsible precedent ). Although some doctors enthuse over the “progress” made in this domain, a number of people have voiced their concerns.


Jacques Testart, father of the first ‘test tube baby’, points out the “presence in the ‘normal’ embryo of muted DNA mitochondria, provided in the healthy egg, at the same time as chromosomes”. He worriedly comments that, “Even if, according to the authors, they represent only 5% of embryo mitochondria (and later 1.6% of the baby’s mitochondria), the potential consequences of this mixture of mitochondrial DNA are unknown”.


He also denounces the stance adopted by John Zhang and his team, who justify themselves “by claiming that the ethic is to save lives”, but“what life was saved here?”, he asks. “And what was the risk of creating a life of suffering? As with all adventurous approaches that nurture bioethics, we have to ask ourselves where to draw the line with procreation, i.e. we have to recognise that there are some situations in which procreation is not desirable”.


Blanche Straeb, Study Director at Alliance VITA, views this experiment as the “large-scale hijacking” 

  • of information since the experiment was kept “secret”, “out of any regulatory and ethical radar” before being  “revealed with great pomp and ceremony (…), presenting the international community with a fait accompli”,
  • of the child, ” a guinea-pig of the technique used to conceive it. All through its life, the child will be the ‘full scale test’ of three-parent IVF. Many unknowns lie ahead. What are the potential consequences on the child’s development and health? What will be the psychological imprint of this ‘triple parentage’ and these conditions of birth? “.
  • of the couple, “held ransom to this overwhelming desire to have a biological child, but to which the sorcerer’s apprentices have responded in just one way: by creating in vitro (…) a GMO baby (…) – no care, no cure”.


Mediapart, Jacques Testart (30/09/2016); Alliance Vita (28/09/2016)

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