Choosing babies' genetic make-up is 'unchartered territory'

A public consultation launches today to hear people's thoughts on 'gene selection' to prevent children being born with serious diseases.

The consultation will discuss new techniques, known as mitochondria replacement, which could enable women to avoid passing genetic diseases on to their children by using a donor’s mitochondria to create a healthy embryo.

We find ourselves in unchartered territory, balancing the desire to help families have healthy children with the possible impact on the children themselves and wider society.

– Lisa Jardine, Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority

The decision about whether mitochondria replacement should be made available to treat patients is not only an issue of great importance to families affected by these terrible diseases, but is also one of enormous public interest

– Lisa Jardine, Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority

Children born following mitochondria replacement would have the DNA of 'three parents'

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Three-person IVF consultation

The public is being asked for their opinion on the ethics of using three people -two parents and a donor woman - to create one baby using IVF to eliminate debilitating and fatal genetic conditions.