Μitochondrial DNA Replacement Therapy for the Prevention of Inherited Mitochondrial Diseases: Ethical and Legal Issues

Introduction: Replacing mtDNA to prevent inherited mitochondrial diseases poses a lot of moral and legal concerns to the scientific community and society. Purpose: To review and present the ethical and legal issues relating to mitochondrial replacement. Material and Method: A systematic review of the studies published until January 2020 in the English language and in the databases "Pubmed" and "Google Scholar" was conducted using the following key words: "mitochondrial DNA", "replacement", "bioethics" , 'mtDNA', 'nuclear transfer', 'three parents'. Criteria for inclusion of existing published studies in this review were: articles referring to mitochondrial replacement and related ethical concerns or the relevant legal framework, articles published during the last decade, articles published in English and publications of official bodies published in Greek. Outcomes: Forty-one references were suitable for inclusion in this review. Ten of them discuss the legal framework, nine deal with relevant ethical concerns and twenty-two include a combination of them. It has been found that mitochondrial replacement raises many ethical and legal questions that need to be elucidated. In particular, safety, efficacy and complications in the offspring, the parents and the mtDNA oocytes donor are examined. In addition, reference is made to existing legal frameworks and to the discussions of official bodies in Greece. Conclusion: Mitochondrial replacement for the prevention of inherited mitochondrial diseases requires further research from the global community as a whole because legislation needs to be enacted in most countries. Referring to Greece, safety, efficacy and the attitude of the Church are the main points of investigation.

Category: Volume 60, N 1
Hits: 44 Hits
Created Date: 20-04-2021
Authors: Eleni Katsamakidou , Afroditi Tsalkitzi , Venetia-Sofia Velonaki