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Scientific and Ethical Issues in Mitochondrial Donation

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Julie Murphy, Emeritus Professor Doug Turnbull, Professor Robert Taylor, Professor Grainne Gorman, Professor Bobby McFarlandORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2018 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. The development of any novel reproductive technology involving manipulation of human embryos is almost inevitably going to be controversial and evoke sincerely held, but diametrically opposing views. The plethora of scientific, ethical and legal issues that surround the clinical use of such techniques fuels this divergence of opinion. During the policy change that was required to allow the use of mitochondrial donation in the UK, many of these issues were intensely scrutinised by a variety of people and in multiple contexts. This extensive process resulted in the publication of several reports that informed the recommendations made to government. We have been intrinsically involved in the development of mitochondrial donation, from refining the basic technique for use in human embryos through to clinical service delivery, and have taken the opportunity in this article to offer our own perspective on the issues it raises.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Craven L, Murphy J, Turnbull DM, Taylor RW, Gorman GS, McFarland R

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: New Bioethics

Year: 2018

Volume: 24

Issue: 1

Pages: 57-73

Online publication date: 12/03/2018

Acceptance date: 02/04/2016

Date deposited: 03/04/2018

ISSN (print): 2050-2877

ISSN (electronic): 2050-2885

Publisher: Taylor and Francis Ltd


DOI: 10.1080/20502877.2018.1440725


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Funder referenceFunder name
Wellcome Trust