The government is warning a doctor to stop pushing a controversial procedure in which three people are parents to the same child.
Regulators with the U.S. government have just issued a warning to a fertility doctor in the state of New York to stop promoting an experimental procedure where a baby has three parents rather than just two: a mother, father, and egg donor. Authorities say the procedure puts patients at risk of genetic diseases and should not be performed in the United States until it is formally approved.
Dr. John Zhang, who pioneered the procedure, helped a Jordanian couple give birth this way last year. But the Food and Drug Administration says Zhang has promised not to use this procedure in the United States again without getting permission first. Nevertheless, the FDA says Zhang and his companies continue to promote this procedure, even though it is not approved in this country and Congress has even barred it.
The procedure is actually meant to avoid genetic diseases. In one case, a mother wanted to have a child but worried about passing down a genetic disease known as Leigh syndrome. So the technique involved removing some of the mother’s DNA from the egg, and leaving the harmful DNA behind, and then implanting that good DNA in a donor egg, which is then fertilized by the father.