I’m sure many of you are registered bone marrow and organ transplant donors. Taking the wide acceptance of these transplant procedures into account, why has there been such uproar over mitochondrial transplant through a pioneering IVF technique?
I personally think this is down to how it has been portrayed in the media as a “three parent baby” technique which will create babies which may not be classed as human along with all sorts of other ethical dilemmas. The media has even speculated that this will open the doors to nuclear genome manipulation and designer babies.
The Daily Mail wrote a critical article with a very interesting comments section showing the dividing views of the public: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2350418/Babies-parents-born-2015-controversial-genetic-treatment-gets-green-light.html
“Three parent baby” is a term created wholly by the media in order to stir up controversy. It isn’t used at all in any of the original press releases from Newcastle University, with this being a good example: http://www.ncl.ac.uk/press.office/press.release/item/pioneering-ivf-technique-supported-by-public
As a result of the public unrest which now accompanies this IVF technique the researchers, who have spent the last 13 years developing it, are struggling to get it passed through parliament and into clinical trials. This is despite it being found to be an ethical technique: http://www.ncl.ac.uk/press.office/press.release/item/mitochondrial-technique-is-ethical
Women who have mitochondrial mutations in their egg cells are largely infertile and the few who have successful pregnancies have severely handicapped children who regularly die during infancy. Is it right that media speculation may be blocking their only hope of having their own healthy children?