Three parent IVF: an American bioethicist calls for a national debate

Publié le : 21 March 2014

 With an imminent statement expected from the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on the possibility of carrying out three parent medically assisted procreation on humans, (Gènéthique press review on February 24th, 2014), Thomas H. Murray, a renowned expert at the Hasting Centre, an American Bioethics Institute (New York), is calling for a national debate on "mitochondrial handling in medically assisted procreation, its safety and ethical implications". In the Science journal in which he gives his point of view, he "calls for the need to reaffirm and redefine parenting in the genomics era".

As regards three parent IVF and, more precisely, mitochondrial handling to which this technique refers, the author states that "this is a genetic modification affecting several generations, which is never seen and has never even been envisaged". And this begs several questions: "can the child know his/her third parent [?], could the technique have a psychological impact [?], isn’t this the start of expanding these techniques too broadly?
On a more general note, Thomas H. Murray wonders about the following: "what does ‘having a child’ actually mean in our era where genetic, genomic and reproductive technologies converge?", making specific reference to the recent technique whereby blood tests conducted in the mother can be used to analyse the baby’s DNA. 
In this genomics era, "the expert is calling for a national debate on current and emerging technologies that will fashion and are already fashioning parental choice". He concluded by stating that "the choices increasingly facing parents should be evaluated realistically and respectful dialogue should be encouraged on the meaning of parenting and respect for the child".


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