In February 2015, the United Kingdom authorised “three-parent in-vitro fertilisation”(cf. Gènéthique du 4 février 2015). This vote in the House of Commons constituted a world first, and was validated by the House of Lords on 23 February. However, HFEA President Sally Cheshire pointed out that, “The technique will not be available overnight. The HEFA will need to design and implement a process to ensure that clinics are licensed against rigorous standards”. This will be done on 29 October.
To mark the occasion, the Telegraph published a report by Madhumita Murgia focussing on the debates that led up to the authorisation of three-parent IVF: “The debate has been bitter, and the reason is clear: this is essentially eugenics, the science of improving the genetic quality of the human population”. However, the Telegraph brushes over these debates and proposes a new vision for eugenics: “Eugenics is not a dirty word”, “Eugenics can be understood as manipulating the genome in order to solve human health crises such as sickle cell anaemia, and so give happier and longer lives to children otherwise doomed before birth”.
Note from Gènéthique:
Three-parent IVF “refines eugenic sophistication waiting to create human beings without any defects”(cf. FIV à trois parents ou la “mentalité eugéniste” de nos sociétés).
Many scientists and celebrities have warned the United Kingdom against spin-offs of this technique(cf. Gènéthique du 3 février 2015, 5 février 2015, 6 févier 2015).
The Telegraph (26/10/2015) ; Science&Santé (27/10/2015)