On Tuesday the House of Commons voted 382-128 to allow the creation of embryos with DNA from two women and one man.
The technique is designed for women who have mitochondrial diseases, which are passed down to their children.
If given final approval, it will use a modified version of IVF to combine the DNA of two parents with the healthy mitochondria of a donor woman.
In addition to the health and safety concerns surrounding this uncharted territory, there are also moral issues. One of the methods for the technique involves the creation of two embryos, one of which is destroyed after donating its nucleus to the embryo with the healthy mitochondria.
Bishop John Sherrington on behalf of the Bishops Conference of England and Wales made the following statement after Tuesday’s vote:
“Despite the genuine and considerable concerns of many people, the decision of Parliament is clear on this issue. Whilst the Church recognises the suffering that mitochondrial diseases bring and hopes that alternative methods of treatment can be found, it remains opposed on principle to these procedures where the destruction of human embryos is part of the process. This is about a human life with potential, arising from a father and a mother, being used as disposable material. The human embryo is a new human life with potential; it should be respected and protected from the moment of conception and not used as disposable material.”
Statement on Mitochondrial Donation Pre Vote