Babies could soon be made from 3 people via IVF in Britain

British lawmakers voted on Tuesday to allow in vitro creation of babies using the DNA of three people, making it the first country to do so. Despite backlash based on ethical and religious perspectives, this would not be an attempt at genetic modification or creating “designer babies.” The purpose of this particular procedure is purely […]

British lawmakers voted on Tuesday to allow in vitro creation of babies using the DNA of three people, making it the first country to do so. Despite backlash based on ethical and religious perspectives, this would not be an attempt at genetic modification or creating “designer babies.”

The purpose of this particular procedure is purely to prevent inheritance of genetic diseases.

Women with mitochondrial diseases risk passing them onto their baby. The mitochondria is on the outside of a cell’s nucleus, it’s the energy structure, and defects can cause heart, kidney and liver failure or muscular dystrophy.

How the procedure would work would be to take nucleus DNA from the parents and mitochondrial DNA from a donor.

The move toward the procedure is likely considering the House of Commons voted 382-128, and the House of Lords, responsible for final approval, usually agrees with their ruling.

Some people are definitely concerned, though.

“If we believe that, sadly, given the nature of the human condition, there are these appalling diseases, where do we stop?” Edward Leigh, a Conservative lawmaker and former minister said, according to The New York Times.

“We will be the first state to authorize this in the world,” Mr. Leigh added. “We will be in a unique position, and we should ask ourselves why no other state — not the European Union, not the U.S., yet — thinks this process is absolutely safe.”

The procedure seems unconventional for obvious reasons, but it would be a breakthrough for those who suffer from these diseases and want to have children.

After Tuesday’s vote, chief executive of the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign, Robert Meadowcroft, said in a statement this is a “milestone in giving women an invaluable choice, the choice to become a mother without fear of passing on a lifetime under the shadow of mitochondrial disease to their child.”

“There are currently no means to treat devastating mitochondrial diseases, which can cause muscle wastage, loss of vision, stroke-like episodes and a premature death,” the statement added. “Preventing inheritance, where possible, remains our only option, and that is why we have invested in and wholly support this pioneering technique.”