Push for three-parent change
Scientists want laws changed to allow three-parent babies in Australia.
The three-parent procedure involves replacing a small amount of a mother's DNA with the DNA of a third parent to prevent the child from inheriting debilitating and potentially fatal mitochondrial diseases.
The procedure is allowed in the UK, but would require the Australian Government to review human cloning laws if it was to be undertaken here.
The Australian Mitochondrial Disease Foundation has launched a campaign to allow the new IVF treatment.
“What's often referred to as a three-parent baby, we'd say it's the 2.002-person baby, if you like,” said Professor David Thorburn, an expert on mitochondrial disease at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute.
Professor Thorburn said there is a lot of concern about the ethics surrounding the idea.
“[But] again I'd stress that the amount of … mitochondrial DNA is less than 1 per cent of the total DNA,” he said.
“It's not thought to affect characteristics such as personality or height or other things.”