The ethics of creating children with three genetic parents

Reprod Biomed Online. 2013 Jun;26(6):531-4. doi: 10.1016/j.rbmo.2013.03.006. Epub 2013 Mar 26.


This article on mitochondrial replacement technology briefly explains and defends the legitimacy of such terms as 'three-parent embryos', 'three-parent babies' and 'three-person IVF'. Next, it reviews select ethical objections to mitochondrial replacement technology that fall into four, sometimes overlapping, categories: (i) harms to egg providers; (ii) harms to potential offspring and future generations; (iii) harms to specific interest groups; and (iv) harms to society. Taken together, these ethical objections are cause for serious concern and yet the development and future use of mitochondrial replacement technology is likely inevitable.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Ethics*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mitochondria
  • Parents*
  • Reproductive Techniques, Assisted*