The first baby born to 3 parents has been touted as genious. But what they failed to mention was the dangers associated with genetic manipulation can be deadly and passed from generation to generation.
So far the UK has approved the creation of 3 parent embryos and the U.S is headed in the same direction.
There have been “caveats” to curb concerns but have failed at best. Some of the recommendations include 1) used only for women with serious, life-threatening mitochondrial disease; 2) require long-term medical follow-up for children born with genetic material from three parents; and 3) that only male embryos be transferred to the mother’s uterus.
Alas, most of the risk of this procedure falls directly on the child and future generations, and not the parents. Parents who do this are usually looking to prevent a genetic predisposition for their children but many argue those abnormalities are not worth the potential risk of a genetically modified child.
At this point, a genetically modified child blows the door wide open for full-blown eugenics and completely blurs the line of ethics and human dignity.
The Daily Signal has the full story:
The first baby with three parents has been born this year, raising troubling questions about our culture’s dedication to human dignity.
The U.S. Constitution is predicated on the principle of the inherent worth and dignity of the human individual. Fundamental rights do not depend on any other fact than that each of us is a unique human being. Thus, any proposed legal action or scientific endeavor is subordinate to those rights.
Often, however, we find that proposed scientific “advances”—particularly in areas like genetic engineering—trample on the rights and dignity of the individual.
Genetic manipulation resulting in embryos that incorporate DNA from three adults has been in laboratory experimentation phases since the 1990s, but now the first birth of a baby with genetic material from three parents has been reported. Multiple methods of creating three-parent embryos exist (a detailed explanation can be found here).
n this case, New York City fertility specialist Dr. John Zhang used a method called “maternal spindle transfer” to create five such human embryos—one of which was transferred to a womb and resulted in live birth. While the baby is now a few months old, New Scientist didn’t break the news until September.
The overall goal, sometimes called “mitochondrial replacement technique (MRT),” is to replace genetically defective mitochondria—the organelles responsible for generating energy and metabolic function of the cell—in a woman’s egg with healthy mitochondria using a female donor egg.
Genetically defective mitochondria can cause serious, even lethal, health problems. But MRT procedures actually transfer a nucleus, repository of the majority of the cell’s genetic material (which means they use human cloning technology), into the presence of genetically different mitochondria.
This is germline (heritable) genetic modification, which means that the modification affects not only the new manufactured individual but also will be passed on to future generations.
Zhang performed the transfer of the genetically manipulated embryo to a woman’s womb in Mexico because it is currently illegal in the United States. Rather than pause to debate the potential consequences of such manipulation, American scientists are pushing to make this procedure legal in the U.S., touting its “glorious potential.”
In 2015, Congress passed an amendment to the omnibus spending bill, sponsored by Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Ala., which prohibits the Food and Drug Administration from entertaining any submission that proposes “research in which a human embryo is intentionally created or modified to include heritable genetic modification.”
Thus, Zhang, unable to get approval to proceed with genetic manufacture of embryos in the U.S. and unwilling to debate the consequences of these human experiments, fled the country to do his experiments.
Note, however, that the Aderholt amendment does not prohibit human gene editing on born individuals. Congressional prohibition of the practice highlights the importance of the dignity of the human person and gives us a chance to consider all the potential ramifications of forging ahead with practices that amount to irreversible genetic modifications of human beings without their consent.