MPs vote in favour of three-person babies
MPs have voted overwhelmingly in favour of the creation of babies with DNA from two women and one man.
In a free vote in the Commons, 382 were in favour and 128 against the technique that prevents deadly genetic diseases being passed from mother to child.
The House of Lords will vote on the issue next month although it is unlikely to derail the legislation.
Under the new rules, IVF (In-Vitro Fertilisation) clinics will be able to replace an egg’s defective mitochondrial DNA with healthy DNA from a female donor’s egg.
It would result in babies having DNA from three people – and effectively, two mothers.
Professor Dame Sally Davies, England’s Chief Medical Officer, argued ahead of the vote that the technique would prevent great suffering.
“The 37 genes in the mitochondria are for energy making. They do not make us who we are or what we are,” she said.
“Yet children born with defective ones often don’t live a year or two.
“Others get gradual deterioration of muscles, heart, kidneys, vision and brain and die in their late teens and early 20s.”
The change allows women to have children without passing on serious and incurable diseases of the mitochondria.
In the Commons debate, Public Health Minister Jane Ellison told the House: “This is a bold step for Parliament to take, but it is a considered and informed step.
“This is world leading science within a highly respected regulatory regime.
“And for the many families affected, this is light at the end of a very dark tunnel.”
Fiona Bruce, the MP for Congleton, countered: “[This] will be passed down generations, the implications of this simply cannot be predicted.
“But one thing is for sure, once this alteration has taken place, as someone has said, once the gene is out of the bottle, once these procedures that we’re asked to authorise today go ahead, there will be no going back for society.”