The Journal Opinion: MPs to debate vital IVF research by experts at Newcastle University

The Journal's opinion column for Monday, September 1, in which we urge MPs to consider parents and children as they debate "three-parent IVF"

Professor Doug Turnbull who is leading a team of researchers at Newcastle University to find a cure for the genetic condition Mitochondrial disease
Professor Doug Turnbull who is leading a team of researchers at Newcastle University to find a cure for the genetic condition Mitochondrial disease

Research by experts at Newcastle University into fertility treatment has been labelled “three-parent IVF”. It’s likely that this shorthand description does a complex technique a disservice. “Test-tube baby” is another such label that rather created the wrong picture in the minds of the public.

Obviously, there is a moral dimension to consider, as there has always been as IVF techniques have been developed and refined.

But, first and foremost, this is a breakthrough that could prevent babies from being born with terrible life-limiting illnesses.

It could save their parents from the agony of not losing just one child, but of losing many. Sharon and Neil Bernardi, of Sunderland, for instance, have lost seven children.

Their experience, and those of far too many other parents, must be uppermost in the minds of MPs as they today start to consider whether this treatment should in due course be allowed.

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer