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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

6/3/2014 (11 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Scientists claim they hope to prevent mitochondrial disease

It seems impossible that any child could have three biological parents, but a scientific review, assembled by the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority, suggests that this could be possible in about two years through an immoral misuse of science.

A theoretical procedure claims it might be able to prevent children from being born with mitochondrial diseases, while it violates basic morality and reduces reproduction to manufacture.

A theoretical procedure claims it might be able to prevent children from being born with mitochondrial diseases, while it violates basic morality and reduces reproduction to manufacture.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/3/2014 (11 months ago)

Published in Health

Keywords: Science, Technology, IVF, morality,


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - This process, which uses eggs from two different women and one man's sperm to "manufacture" human embryonic life isbeing hailed as noble. Proponents claim it is some kind of effort to prevent deadly mitochondrial diseases, which is caused by damage to the power stations in the body's cells, called mitochondria. This is often the case with such immoral uses of science,

Pray for the parents of children who suffer from life threatening disease.

One in every 6,500 babies is born with serious mitochondrial disease, which means the child has insufficient energy to function. The disease is passed on from the mother if she does not have healthy mitochondria, and can lead to muscle weakness, blindness, heart failure and even death.Life affirming and protecting research is being conducted to deal with this disease.

The panel assembled by the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority assessed two advanced forms of IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) using material from the natural parents and from a woman with healthy mitochondria.

In Vitro Fertilization is absolutely condemned by the Catholic Church.

Not only does it result in what are referred to as "spare embryos" - and therefore participate in the taking of human embryonic life - it reduces procreation to a form of manufacture in an immoral instrumentalist approach to the gift of reproduction.

Of course, all children are gifts, including the children who result from IVF. However, it is a fundamental tenet of Catholic Moral teaching that the end does not justify the means! 

Professor Robin Lovell-Badge, a member of the scientific panel from the Medical Research Council said: "The direction of travel still suggests that it is all safe, but we don't know what's round the corner so we're being a little cautious."

Before the procedures could be preformed, the HFEA reports calls for a series of final tests, including a more detailed assessment of the efficiency of both proposed techniques when using human eggs or embryos, and investigations into any subsequent generations of mutated mitochondria being transferred during the procedure.

"I think that [two years] is not a bad estimation. The other sorts of experiments that we thought were necessary, again it will take about two years to complete all of those," said Lovell-Badge.

Professor Andy Greenfield, who chaired the panel said that issue of safety was not straightforward.

"Until a healthy baby is born we cannot say 100% that these techniques are safe, if you think back to when IVF was a new technology all of these questions were asked before IVF."

Of course, the Catholic Church has pronounced with clarity her opposition to this misuse of medical science. Instead she promotes good science which serves the true common good.

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