The Ethics of Mitochondrial Replacement Therapy

25 June 2014

The review of this event in BioNews can be found here.

A symposium on The Ethics of Mitochondrial Replacement Therapy was held at the International Association of Bioethics 13th World Congress in Bioethics in Mexico City on 25th June 2014. This explored ethical dimensions of the emerging technology of mitochondrial replacement as a potential treatment for mitochondrial DNA disorders. The speakers were Professor Vardit Ravitsky, Dr John Appleby, Professor Stephen Wilkinson, Dr Anthony Wrigley, and Dr Annelien Bredenoord. Topics covered include the uncertainty of first using such radically new techniques, the anonymity of mitochondrial donors in light of recent proposed legislation by the UK Department of Health to make mitochondrial donation anonymous, ways in which our genetic origins might play a role in determining our identity in light of mitochondrial replacement techniques, concerns about eugenics and human dignity, and the role the media plays in shaping public perceptions of the emerging technology.

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