FDA weighing evidence on producing '3-parent' embryos - WDRB 41 Louisville News

FDA weighing evidence on producing '3-parent' embryos

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Scientists say being able to engineer your baby is now a very real possibility.

That's what the Food and Drug Administration  is doing during a two day fact-finding symposium  about controversial technology that would manipulate genetic material in order to create children with not two, but *three* genetic parents. The technology is aimed at assisting families at risk of passing along potentially fatal Mitochondrial disease by taking the mother's faulty DNA material and replacing with a healthy donor's.

 "If you can take a piece of that  part of the DNA that's damaged and replace it with a new part, if you will, that comes from another human, this is something that could really change the whole view of diseases in the future," said Dr. Manny Alzarez the Managing Editor for Fox News Health.com.

But the F.D.A.isn't touching on that quandary instead focusing on the science of the procedure rather than the moral questions attached to it.

"Scientific issues can't be considered in isolation from their moral effects and we must simply take up the questions in parallel to each other," said Matthew Franck, the Director of The Witherspoon Institute.

Leading ethicists like doctors Robert George and Donald Laundry of The Witherspoon Council on Ethics and the Integrity of Science are urging the F.D.A. to put the brakes on approving the technology  calling it "reckless".

Others believe there is room for compromise on the heated issue.

"If we want to draw a line we have to draw it in a different place not to say never genetically engineer an embryo or a baby but we have to say only use it for diseases.  If that is what we are going to say I'm comfortable with that but to say we aren't' going to do it at all and leave kids impaired or dying, that seems to me the not right ethical course," argued  Arthur Caplan the Director Of Medical Ethics Nyu Langone Medical Center.


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