Genetic Affinity and the Right to ‘Three-parent IVF’

Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics 34 (12):1577-1580 (2017)
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With the recent report of a live birth after use of Mitochondrial replacement therapy, sometimes called ‘Three-parent IVF’, the clinical application of the technique is fast becoming a reality. While the United Kingdom allows the procedure under regulatory scrutiny, it remains effectively outlawed in many other countries. We argue that such prohibitions may violate individuals’ procreative rights, grounded in individuals’ interest in genetic affinity. The interest in genetic affinity was recently endorsed by Singapore’s highest court, reflecting an emphasis on the importance of biological ties found across the globe. We apply that reasoning to make the case for a right to ‘Three-parent IVF’.

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G. Owen Schaefer
National University of Singapore


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