In the US, the major concern about the ethics of mitochondrial transfer through in vitro fertilization (IVF) is: The Concerns Surrounding Mitochondrial Transfer Through In Vitro Fertilization in the US

The Concerns Surrounding Mitochondrial Transfer Through In Vitro Fertilization in the US

The ethical concerns regarding mitochondrial transfer through in vitro fertilization (IVF) in the US have been subject of debate for many years. Mitochondrial transfer is a technique used to prevent mitochondrial diseases from being passed from mother to child. This medical procedure involves replacing the mother’s mitochondrial DNA with that of a donor, allowing the child to be born without the disease. However, with this procedure comes ethical questions surrounding the safety of the child and the impact on future generations. One major concern is the potential for genetic mutations as a result of the manipulation of mitochondrial DNA. As mitochondria contain only 37 genes, compared to the 23,000 genes in the nucleus, the potential for introducing genetic changes is much greater. As noted by Li et al. (2020), “the precise effect of these mutations on embryogenesis and the health of the offspring, both in the short and long term, is largely unknown”. Another concern is the potential for the manipulation of mitochondrial DNA to have a far-reaching impact on future generations, due to the fact that mitochondrial DNA is passed down through the female line. As stated by Edwards et al. (2020), “there is the potential for the technology to cause unintended changes to the germline that may be passed on to future generations”. Cont….

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