3-person IVF ethical to avoid disorders

An enquiry has found that a controversial IVF technique which creates embryos from genetic material from two women and one man is ethical.

The Nuffield Council on Bioethics said the three-person IVF could be used to prevent life-threatening disorders such as mitochondrial disease, which occurs when faulty DNA is passed from the mother to her offspring.

Children born with the condition often cannot create enough energy to power basic metabolic processes and are susceptible to muscle weakness, blindness and heart failure.

Dr Geoff Watts, who led the inquiry, said: "If further research shows these techniques to be sufficiently safe and effective, we think it would be ethical for families to use them if they wished to, provided they receive an appropriate level of information and support."

The infertility treatment would involve using the genetic material of a mother and father placed in a donor egg - giving around a 0.1 per cent chance that DNA information from the third party could be passed on to the child.