Brits support radical gene therapy for IVF

21 March 2013

The majority of Britons are in support of a change in the law to enable doctors to perform a form of gene therapy on the IVF embryos of women in danger of passing on mitochondrial disease to their babies.

This condition is a potentially severe and fatal metabolic disorder, and those with the condition often do not have children for fear of passing it on to their baby.

However, replacing a mother's mitochondria cells with those from an egg donor could be a solution.

The therapy is a radical one, with a child effectively having two mother's, but a survey of public opinion found widespread support of such a procedure.

Professor Lisa Jardine, the chair of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, commented: "Although some people have concerns about the safety of these techniques, we found that they trust the scientific experts and the regulator to know when it is appropriate to make them available to patients."

Posted by Edward Bartel

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