Readers may have been following our coverage of the progress of research into mitochondrial manipulation to prevent the transmission of inherited disease and the developing views of the various stakeholder groups.
Most recently, the HFEA has announced that it is launching a public consultation in September, at the request of the Secretaries of State for Health and for Business, Innovation and Skills, to elicit the public’s views on this emerging technique.
Currently permitted only in research, the controversial technique, known colloquially as “three parent IVF”, involves either the transfer of the nucleus from the prospective mother’s egg (with the faulty mitochondria) into an enucleated donor egg with healthy mitochondria, to be fertilised by the prospective father’s sperm (maternal spindle transfer) or the transfer of the pronuclei from an embryo with faulty mitochondria into an enucleated donor embryo (pronuclear transfer).
The engagement process will include:
- A survey to measure public attitudes and awareness, managed by Sciencewise and their research partners, independent of the HFEA
- A series of national dialogue events (Sciencewise et al)
- Online public consultation via a specifically established information site (HFEA)
- Public discussion events (HFEA)
An independent oversight group, with a membership of medical, ethical, legal and media expertise, has been established to help to ensure that the engagement process is balanced, accessible and far-reaching.
The HFEA proposes to publish its findings next year.
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