Jul 1, 2015
Journal name not available for this finding
The clinical application of novel in-vitro fertilisation techniques involving mitochondrial donation was legalised in the UK in 2015. Mitochondria contain genetic material and it is possibly not surprising that headlines have described the resulting baby as having ‘three parents’ – the intending mother and father, and the egg donor. The techniques raise important questions, including how do we interpret transfer of biological material from one body to another? What are the implications for identity? And how, whether or when should the use of these techniques be revealed to the child? This article has two aims. First, it sets out the key ethical issues raised by the clinical introduction of mitochondrial donation. Secondly, it presents empirical data to highlight how patients themselves respond to these ethical questions. It concludes by highlighting how the introduction of medical technologies and the relationships between donors and recipients are dependent on the cultural, historical and social contexts.