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Several objections against the morality of researching or employing mitochondrial replacement techniques have been advanced recently. In this paper, I examine three of these objections and show that they are found wanting. First I examine whether mitochondrial replacement techniques, research and clinical practice, should not be carried out because of possible harms to egg donors. Next I assess whether mitochondrial replacement techniques should be banned because they could affect the study of genealogical ancestry. Finally, I examine the claim that mitochondrial replacement techniques are not transferring mitochondrial DNA but nuclear DNA, and that this should be prohibited on ethical grounds.

Original publication




Journal article


Monash Bioeth Rev

Publication Date





37 - 51


Maternal spindle transfer, Mitochondrial donation, Mitochondrial replacement techniques, Pronuclear transfer, Three parent IVF, Three parent babies, Tri-parenthood, Eugenics, Female, Genealogy and Heraldry, Humans, Male, Mitochondrial Replacement Therapy, Reproductive Techniques, Assisted, Tissue Donors