With the recent news that Great Britain will indeed forge ahead with the use of nuclear transfer techniques to create “3-parent babies,” in an effort to interdict maternally-inherited mitochondrial disease, and in light of Courtney Thiele’s February 9 post on this blog (with the associated discussion), I thought it might be useful to take a moment and pull together some links to past discussions on this blog, plus other resources.
Courtney raised concerns over confusion about parentage, risks to the conceived child, and possible spread of the technique beyond its envisioned applications of stopping mitochondrial disease and treatment of infertility.
In response, and with reference to his post of a year ago today (February 26, 2014) Steve Phillips focused in particular on the unknown—and, really, unknowable—risks to the conceived child. Steve also referred to a 2004 article, “Designing Babies: Human Research Issues,” by Rebecca Dresser in the Hastings Center-published journal IRB. A link to the PubMed citation is here, but it’s not very helpful. Also, unless you have access to a really good medical library, it can be hard to get past articles from IRB. The Hastings Center website only makes these available back to 2007, and I can’t find other ready access.
I am sure I have missed or forgotten other relevant posts on this blog. Readers, please refresh my memory.
Dignitas carried a good article on the subject, by Agneta Sutton, in its Fall 2013 issue. Members of the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity can read it online.
The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.