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Three-parent embryo technique is ‘unethical and macabre’, says pro-life group

An embryo is analysed at a fertility centre in Glasgow (Photo: PA)

A pro-life group has condemned plans to create offspring with three genetic parents as “unethical and macabre”.

Britain could become the first country to approve the “three-parent” embryo technique, it emerged today. The Government is drafting regulations to be debated in Parliament next year.

Anthony Ozimic, of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), said: “These macabre experiments are both destructive and dangerous and therefore unethical. The vast majority of embryonic children created in the laboratory are killed because they do not meet the ‘quality control’ requirements dictated by scientists involved in such increasingly macabre experiments.

Scientists have already created foetuses with genetic material from three parents. Doctors in Britain want to use the technique to prevent the passing on of mitochondrial diseases. These diseases can result in serious conditions such as muscular dystrophy.

SPUC director John Smeaton said: “Human life begins at conception. Any grounds for denying human rights to human embryos are arbitrary and self-serving.

“Scientists should respect human life and pursue ethical alternatives which are much more likely to be successful in the long term.”

The technique used involves the transfer of nuclear material from the egg cell of a mother suffering with a mitochondrial disease to the egg of the unaffected donor mother. The healthy mitochondria cells created are then transferred to the IVF baby.

Scientists stressed only 0.1 per cent of the baby’s DNA will come from the donor mother.