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.