In Canada, the creation of embryos from three DNAs (see One baby, 3 DNAs, 3 transgressions) is banned. Canada’s law on assisted procreation states that no-one can consciously “modify the genome in a cell of a human being or embryo in vitro such that the alteration can be passed on to future generations“.
In an article published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada, a group of genetic ethicists and fertility experts are asking for this ban to be lifted. They believe that this “‘new and promising intervention’ can prevent women from transmitting sometimes fatal hereditary diseases to their children“. They confirm that the 13 year-old law is outdated and are demanding a discussion at national level to review the ban.
Other voices are also making themselves heard, reminding us that a consensus regarding the potential use of the combined DNA technique to create a human being is still a long way off. This is particularly true since spin-offs are already apparent. The technique is, in fact, used in a highly controversial manner to help older women to become pregnant (see Three-parent IVF to rejuvenate eggs: a lucrative market).
With regard to the Federal state, Trudeau’s Government is in the process of tightening the law on medically assisted procreation and is focusing in particular on clarifying expenses payable to egg and sperm donors. Moreover, it suggests that the ban on human genome editing could also be re-examined.
For further reading:
National Post, Sharon Kirkey (09/10/2017)