The news has broken that the government are planning to allow the creation of embryos which have three genetic parents. Mitochondria from one women will be used to replace the faulty mitochondria present in the mother's eggs, meaning that two women and one man would be necessary in the creation of an embryo. Essentially, embryos with potentially faulty parts are going to be patched up with bits from another parent.
This seems like a wonderful idea, and it has certainly been hailed as such by a large amount of the media. it would mean that those who have a history of mitochondrial problems in their family, something that can result in death, would be able to give birth to healthy children without fear that they suffer these problems. It has got to be a huge moment of relief for all those who are fearful that by having children they will be risking giving them a serious condition.
It could even be described as the most ethical way of doing things, since surely it is our responsibility to give children the best start in life. Because of this procedure potentially being allowed, there is the possibility that this serious genetic condition could be tackled head on. The excitement in the media is really understandable. After all, who would not want the best start in life for their children?
Yet, many cannot help but feel a little queasy at the idea of this process being legalised, and are seriously hoping that MPs vote it down as soon as possible. This seems weird, considering this is all about helping families, something that most people would argue is a good thing.
I would have to say, however, that I agree with those who are apprehensive, and am thinking along their lines in a lot of areas. There are two primary objections to this procedure, one being that it is unnecessary, and the other that it is beyond human authority to play around with life like this. The latter is especially significant if we take into account the idea that these embryos could be considered to be living humans.
If we look at the idea of its necessity, we really do come across problems for this sort of procedure. There really is little point in its existing, since there is already ample ability for people to create families that are healthy, even without it. Adoption is something that too few people look into, and too few children get to experience, and really is something that makes this procedure unnecessary.
There are so many children out there who do not have a family to call their own, who do not care whether or not they grew in the womb of the person who cares for them, but simply wants someone they love and can call Mum or Dad. Obviously, I have no right to lecture anyone on adoption or having children, since I have none of my own, yet there are still children out there who need homes.
Also, this seems like a step towards designer babies, with parents able to select the children that they want, rather than letting nature take a course. I know this is in order to cure a serious problem, but it could be the step towards so much more, and a unnecessary step at that.
There are some serious problems with this new technology, and at the moment I am firmly in the camp hoping that the MPs vote this procedure down.