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Friday, June 6, 2014

Mitochondrial mix: Is three still a crowd?

Human Ovum    (Public Domain)
Due to what Catholic Online is calling “an immoral misuse of science,” it could soon be possible for a child to have three biological parents.

This advanced in vitro fertilization (IVF) process utilizes “eggs from two different women and one man’s sperm” in order to minimize the amount of genetic defects.  Because “one in every 6,500 babies is born with serious mitochondrial disease,” scientists are hoping that healthy mitochondrial material from the additional woman’s egg can pare down this ratio.

Nevertheless, the Catholic Church is firmly against such a procedure.  Believing that the “gift of reproduction” should not be meddled with in this manner, the Church is also concerned about any resulting “spare embryos” (which are considered tantamount to “the taking of human embryonic life”).

Ethical questions that are being asked about this new procedure are similar to the ones that were initially asked about IVF, and often center upon the issue of “playing God.”   There is also concern about the potential social engineering of “designer babies.”


Copyright June 6, 2014 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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