Three parents for one child

Genetics from the Oregon University of Health have developed a method of getting an embryo with genes from one man and two women. In fact, it means that the child will have three parents, what can have a significant impact on existing social relationships. The essence of the method is that the scientists combined a DNA core of one mother and a mitochondrial DNA from another. The egg, resulting from this manipulation, will be involved in the process of fertilization. It is believed that this technology will reduce the number of hereditary diseases in the world. In the case of diagnosis of any genetic abnormalities, doctors will be able to take unfertilized eggs from a healthy donor and an ill one, and then replace the core of a defective cell with a healthy one.


Such a technology is, of course, very important for the IVF. Who may it be useful for? First, for the patients of mature age, when the danger of having a child with genetic abnormalities is high enough. Secondly, this technique will give the chance to have a healthy and a genetically fully their own child for those families, where one spouse is suffering from a hereditary genetic disease. So the need of the development of the technology and support of the state in this area is, in my opinion, indisputable.

From a legal point of view, things are not so simple. According to the existing provisions of the law a donor of the genetic material is not a parent and do not have any rights for the child. The question of three parents is no longer relevant, because the donation in our country is anonymous.

On the other hand, the  procedure is nothing else but interference in the human genome, that isn’t regulated by the law. It is understandable - what is the point to regulate a thing, that doesn’t exist yet? But if we imagine that this technology will enter into our lives, I think it will be possible to use as a basis  Article III section. 22 of the Federal Law "On the legal basis of bioethics", which, in particular, says that "interference in the human genome may only be realized on diagnostic or therapeutic purposes, under the condition, that it isn’t directed to the introduction of changes in a cell line of human reproduction, and doesn’t make any changes to the genome of his children. "

However, for the moment all the talks about «three parents for one child" seem to me cooking a hair before catching it. If we talk about the practical implementation of this technology in Russian IVF clinics, then  there is no hospital in the country (I think, in the world neither), able to start using it not today, not tomorrow, nor, I think, in 5 or even 10 years,. Today's practical level of Reproductive Medicine does not allow any manipulations with the genome (and theoretical lay-outs in this field are not enough.)