House of Lords of the United Kingdom (UK) on 24 February 2015 passed a legislation allowing creation of babies using DNA of three people, which is also called mitochondria donation procedure. The House of Lords voted in favour of the Bill that amends the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act (HFEA), 1990.
With this, United Kingdom became the first country to legalise the creation of three-parent IVF designer babies using Mitochondrial Donation Technique. The first baby may be born as early as in 2016.
Earlier on 3 February 2015, House of Commons voted in favour of the Bill. Now UK’s fertility regulator Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) will decide how to license the procedure to prevent babies inheriting deadly genetic diseases.
Significance of the Bill
The law is aimed at preventing serious inherited diseases being passed on from mother to child. This procedure will help in giving a permanent change to the hereditary problems that have passed on through the generations.
This change in IVF law can help 2500 women of reproductive age in Britain with hereditary mitochondrial diseases. Now in United Kingdom, women with hereditary mitochondrial diseases will be able to give birth to healthy babies without transferring their hereditary diseases.
Mitochondrial Donation Technique does not allow passage of defective mitochondria from mother to babies. Thus, preventing new born babies from dangerous diseases related brain damage, muscle wasting, heart failure and blindness due to defective mitochondria.
Who: UK House of Lords
When: 24 February 2015