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3 Parent Babies Might Be Legalized In Britain

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heard this on AFN today. the british house of commons passed a motion to legalize introducing a 3rd mother's DNA to ova for women with mitochondria, a condition that can cause heart disease, liver failure and MS in their not yet born offspring. the idea is to introduce the dna from a woman without this condition who would remain entirely anonymous, have no legal right over the child and is apparently a far cry from genetic modification.

the catholic church is against it (it's a "disruption of a husband and wife's duty to reproduce" ) , but so far there hasn't been much of a public outcry for or against. your thoughts?

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yes it is according to the AFN report I heard. that's why the birth mother's dna is mixed with the dna from a woman who doesn't have the gene. the thesis is that it gives the fetus a better chance of inheriting the non-mitochondrial trait. (this is a IVF procedure).

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If the third party is completely anonymous and has no claim on the baby and, if it gives the baby a chance to be, "normal", I don't understand the problem.

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I'm not overly interested in debating it because I don't have the energy for confrontation these days, but I am firmly against most forms of assisted reproduction. I would include this. If you are not genetically sound to breed, then adopt or don't breed. I realize that many people desire children in a way I simply cannot fathom, and adopting is extremely difficult (this I do know), but if your desire to contribute to society is that great, you will find a way.

I see the appeal of it and am fascinated by the scientific aspect, but regardless, I must stand by my personal opinions about assisted reproduction in humans.

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Well said, epona, I had never thought of it that way.

I guess I wasn't seeing it as, manipulating, a pregnancy.

I don't agree with women taking fertility drugs, then dropping litters they can't afford. I didn't put this into the same category.

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uh no. it makes it (theoretically) possible for women with the gene to have children without passing on their genetic defect. I don't have them (kids, not genetic defects), never wanted them, but it's an interesting concept for people who do.

after all, their parents passed the defect on to them because they wanted to procreate.

it's another interesting facet of the debate--passing on genes (wanted or unwanted) to a yet unborn. kind of like circumcision done to male babies, without their consent. vacccinations, yada, yada, yada.

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It's very rare I will go so far as to say I think something should be made illegal, simply because I am not a fan of telling someone what they can or cannot do (within reason) so I certainly won't walk down that path today, because someone choosing to breed or have IVF does not directly affect me in a substantial manner.

I do believe, in my personal opinion, that knowingly producing offspring with a high probability of a serious genetic fault is selfish and immoral.

For example:

"Sharon and Neil kept on trying for a healthy baby but without luck. Although three more children were born, none lived beyond the age of two. Each time one of their children died, they told themselves that "the death was a one-off". After their last child had a heart attack and died in 2000 they stopped trying."

Source: http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-19648992

Linked From: http://www.bbc.com/news/health-31069173

I find that to be horrifying in a deep sickening sense, leaving a foul taste and a feeling of unease - how can they be so heartless that they continue to produce and doom children to a short unpleasant life just so they could have a child that shares their DNA. I realize this is not a thought process these folks go through, but perhaps they should.

Edited by Epona142

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What about people who have another child to basically be, spare parts, for an older child who has genetic disorders.

I guess, it being genetic, they roll the dice on the second child having the same thing.

I can't imagine having kid after kid, watching them die at early ages, just to possibly get lucky with a healthy one. It's selfish and, heartless.

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Ah yes - I actually did read that, and watched the movie. They didn't really stick with me, but I remember feeling a great deal of unease over it as well. I can understand the line of thinking that lead the parents to do that, but how incredibly selfish of them.

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Still gambling, just bettering the odds. I kinda have to lean toward Epona's thoughts on this. Possibly because I simply don't understand the drive to procreate hugely. How many kids do you need to validate your existence?

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I'm not against IVF. I know two women who had damage done to their Fallopian tubes and required IVF. Both of them were able to have healthy babies of their own.

Playing Russian roulette with the life of a child by "hoping" that adding extra bits of cells from a stranger will give them a child who might not suffer an early death. Is really cold blooded (IMO).

Why not use the egg from a donor who doesn't suffer from this problem?

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definition of mitochandia

a small spherical or rodlike body, bounded by a double membrane, in the cytoplasm of most cells: contains enzymes responsible for energy production Also called chondriosome
Although most DNA is packaged in chromosomes within the nucleus, mitochondria also have a small amount of their own DNA. This genetic material is known as mitochondrial DNA or mtDNA. Mitochondria (illustration) are structures within cells that convert the energy from food into a form that cells can use.

Mitochondrial disease is a group of disorders caused by dysfunctional mitochondria, the organelles that generate energy for the cell. Mitochondria are found in every cell of the human body except red blood cells, and convert the energy of food molecules into the ATP that powers most cell functions.

Mitochondrial diseases are sometimes (about 15% of the time)[1] caused by mutations in the mitochondrial DNA that affect mitochondrial function. Other causes of mitochondrial disease are mutations in genes of the nuclear DNA, whose gene products are imported into the Mitochondria (Mitochondrial proteins) as well as acquired mitochondrial conditions. Mitochondrial diseases take on unique characteristics both because of the way the diseases are often inherited and because mitochondria are so critical to cell function. The subclass of these diseases that have neuromuscular disease symptoms are often called a mitochondrial myopathy.

This is the basis of that therapy:

there is DNA in the mitochondria that comes from your mother only. It doesn’t determine anything important, only whether your cells have energy and, if the mitochondria are faulty, whether you develop a terrible disease. Why the mitochondria carry their own DNA is not known, but probably relates back to the origins of life itself.

This is what it involves, and the 'three parent baby is rather a newspaper sensationalism

Below is what it involves, taken from this link:

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/feb/04/three-parent-ivf-babies-free-of-mitochondrial-disease

The procedure involves swapping less than one-tenth of 1% of the human genome. But would it matter if it were 1%? Or even 5%? This is DNA that doesn’t determine any human traits, just disease. The naysayers predictably argued that this may be the start of a slippery slope: the next thing might be swapping DNA from the nucleus, rather than the mitochondria. But if that small piece of rogue genome was causing another disease, say, cystic fibrosis, would it be so terrible to swap it?

My thoughts:

Personally, I think it is good technology, replacing defective mitochondria with healthy mitochondria, that does not change any of the traits carried by the intended parents, just how those cells will then use energy correctly

Should we stop stem cell research, where at some time in the future, entire new organs can be grown, using the stem cells of the person who will need that organ. No more transplant rejections, or people dying while waiting for an organ

Research is constantly going on that prolongs life, eliminates diseases that used to kill many. Yes, we can sit back and say that we need to have less people, and once we start to fool with genetics themselves, we are coming close to playing God

At the same time, others argue that if there is a divine Being, he gave us the brain that has allowed medical advancements-even things like immunization. We are not truly talking of a three parent baby, but just replacing some defective cellular mitochondria with non defective mitochondria

Edited by Smilie

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I'm not against IVF. I know two women who had damage done to their Fallopian tubes and required IVF. Both of them were able to have healthy babies of their own.

Playing Russian roulette with the life of a child by "hoping" that adding extra bits of cells from a stranger will give them a child who might not suffer an early death. Is really cold blooded (IMO).

Why not use the egg from a donor who doesn't suffer from this problem?

I think the link I posted, will explain as to why not just use a doner egg, as through this technology you are not changing anything significant, far as genetic inheritance from both of the intended parents, and only fixing some defective mitochondria at the cellular DNA level, which involves how that cell uses energy correctly

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there is the fear that this could be leading to "designer babies" among some of the naysayers.

Well, there is that, but if you could prevent things like cystic fibrosis, through some gene manipulation, would that be so wrong.

It is a brave new world!

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The mitochondria are actually symbiotes. They started out as independent unicellular lifeforms and have never been fully integrated into the rest of our systems.

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bottom line, nuclear DNA is not being manipulated. That would be a different debate. Does it open the door-sure.

I am sure similar ethical debates have gone on as long as we have had medical advances through science. What about transplants? If you are a JW, blood transfusions are out

I guess, in the end, it depends on what your own religious background or ethics is comfortable with, because pure science will march on

For some, birth control in playing 'God' same as genetic engineering is for others.

Should man have ever learned to split the atom? Probably not,

Edited by Smilie

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It's very rare I will go so far as to say I think something should be made illegal, simply because I am not a fan of telling someone what they can or cannot do (within reason) so I certainly won't walk down that path today, because someone choosing to breed or have IVF does not directly affect me in a substantial manner.

I do believe, in my personal opinion, that knowingly producing offspring with a high probability of a serious genetic fault is selfish and immoral.

For example:

"Sharon and Neil kept on trying for a healthy baby but without luck. Although three more children were born, none lived beyond the age of two. Each time one of their children died, they told themselves that "the death was a one-off". After their last child had a heart attack and died in 2000 they stopped trying."

Source: http://www.bbc.com/n...gazine-19648992

Linked From: http://www.bbc.com/n...health-31069173

I find that to be horrifying in a deep sickening sense, leaving a foul taste and a feeling of unease - how can they be so heartless that they continue to produce and doom children to a short unpleasant life just so they could have a child that shares their DNA. I realize this is not a thought process these folks go through, but perhaps they should.

I went Read the whole story, at first it was unexplained why her children died, even her mother lost children 3 were stillborn, within the family total of eight children died in thier infancy,unknown reason at the time.... They did testing to find out, inconclusive the doctors were, wasn't until the last child was born,passed. Further genetic testing done it was then they realized the genetic disease. when they found out, after the death of their last child They quit having children. At the time it probably was considred normal within the faimly, babies died for unknown reasons,normal to keep trying to have one who will be healthy.I'm sure they did grieved for the ones they lost.

They are now coming out new techniques, to help prevent genetic birth defects/diseases so those people who want a child can have a healthy child.

each pregnancy is a risk, with an unknown genetic history , unknown medical reason which weren't investigated further...

Perhaps if this couple had known in advanced ,perhaps they wouldn't have gone through what they did .

Personally I think couples should have genetic testing done before having children. Today more modern techinques are available to test for of genetic diseases/defects. IF possible to have that gene altered,removed, wiegh the percentage of having heathly baby.. The couple then can make their decision to have or not have the child. It would be their personal choice.

Edited by Ann Wheeler

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Look, we are talking of mitochondrial DNA

Why , the minute someone applies 'genetics', Science phobia' appears, and that phobia generated usually , like all things scientific, criticized through not really upstanding, responding to journalist sensationalism, often written by someone with no scientific knowledge

People ' like animals , have both dominant, sex linked and recessive genetic defects

Perhaps, everyone before, marrying, or procreating, should be tested for recessive genetic defects, just like our horses, and if they are carriers,be banned from having children together.

Short of that, I am 100% in favor of repairing a genetic defect through this technology, esp since, unlike that article suggests, has no traits from parent # 3, beyond some mitochondrial repair

Glad it pasted.

Unless you plan to have government policy, as to which human can breed and with whom ( we do that as responsible breeders with our animals ), then it is a no brainer to use technology to lessen the medical burden on society, caring for these offspring, and give these children at chance at a healthy life.

You can't have it both ways, as just like our animals, given free choice, will breed, so will some people, even knowing possible risks in trying for that healthy child that has a chance to beat the odds of their genetic gamble.

So, everyone here in favor of testing all people before they marry, for recessive genetic defects, and then either not allow them to marry, or insist that they be sterilized?

Think I'll go with thumbs up, on this being passed!

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