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Thread: Does it matter who the parents are?

  1. #1
    Administrator CatInASuit's avatar
    Feb 2009
    Coulsdon Cat Basket

    Default Does it matter who the parents are?

    A new medical technique is being developed which has the potential for removing several genetic diseases. It involves using the DNA from a third party to replace damaged genes as part of IVF treatment.

    The process is to obtain involves implanting the nucleus from an egg into that of a donor egg, whether fertilised or not. Most of the DNA would then come from the parents, but a small chunk of mitochondrial DNA would come from the donor. Effectively, it would give the child three parents.

    There are probably plenty of moral and ethical considerations about this.

    Should the kid be told they have three parents, but then how is this dissimilar to adoptions or surrogacy, where the parents that raise a child are not necessarily the same as those who created it.

    Is this a step too far in IVF treatment or could it lead to more a genetically diverse population.

    What do you think?
    In the land of the blind, the one-arm man is king.

  2. #2
    The Queen Zuul's avatar
    Mar 2009


    Beyond mitochondrial diseases, tracking family lines and a few theories about aging, mitochondria doesn't have much impact on who someone is, AFAIK. They have their own, separate genome. Yes, a child who is carrying the mitochondria from someone else rather than her mother will not show up as being a member of the proper mitochondrial line, but phenotype, health beyond those mitochondrial diseases, and whatever genetic influence there is on personality are all going to be the same as if her parents had a naturally conceived child.

    I wouldn't remotely consider the mitochondrial donor a parent, any more than someone who donates a piece of liver to a newborn is a parent of that child. Of course the child should know, but I wouldn't put it on par with the genetic situations of adoption, AI, or traditional donor eggs.
    So now they are just dirt-covered English people in fur pelts with credit cards.

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