Latest News

2017.03.28

Through egg harvesting to have a daughter Taiwan's first “three-parent baby” shows up

Apple Daily
 


Is it too magical or too crazy? Last September, the world ’s first “three-parent baby”holding the genes from three parents was just born, setting off an ethical discussion of “customized babies.”The senior gynecologist Lee Mao Sheng held a press conference yesterday and said that he helped 9 couples, who have failed the artificial fertility treatment performing the three-patent baby technology, and the medical team tracked these children for a long time since 19 years ago and they were all healthy and free of genetic problems. Lee said that the United Kingdom has passed and approved the use of the three-parent baby technique, and the United States is also legislating as well, on the contrary, even the human trials were banned in Taiwan. He hopes to use the successful cases to call on the government to incorporate such operation into the Artificial Reproductive Medicine Act to treat infertility and help families with difficulties in having children and winning the opportunities.

Lee have also said that the “three-parent baby” he carried out was to extract about 5% of the mitochondria-containing cytoplasm from the donated healthy eggs, also a single healthy egg from the mother and active sperm from the father's semen, then the cytoplasm of the donated egg and the sperm are injected into the egg of the infertile mother at the same time to complete the fertilization and cytoplasmic transplantation operation, thereby solving the problem of infertility caused by suspected mitochondrial dysfunction. Children born this way will hold the genes from one father and two mothers.

Lee said that Taiwan had not yet passed the “Artificial Reproduction Act” when the three-parent baby technique was implemented 19 years ago“”. He has performed this treatment within 9 mothers for mothers who have failed dozens of artificial fertilizations treatment. 4 mothers has successfully delivered 5 children with a success rate of nearly 50% in the end.

Lee pointed out that in 1999, he submitted this technique to the International Journal of Reproduction & Infertility, which attracted the attention of the Taiwan Ministry of Health and Welfare and began to discuss the legality of three-parent baby, this issue has come to an endwhen it comes to the “medical ethical issue” of harvesting eggs from the third person eventually.

Mrs. Su (60 years old), who attended the press conference yesterday, said that since the age of 24, to conceive a new life, she has been injected more than 10,000 ovulation induction drugs for 17 consecutive years. Eventually, with the help of “three-parent baby technology”, she was able to get pregnant successfully when she was 41. Holding her 18-year-old precious daughter,Mrs. Su said, “It's really touching to be a mother!”“I used to complain about why I didn't have brothers and sisters when I was young. Until today, I finally knew that my mother had tried so hard only to give birth to me! “, said by her daughter, miss Su.

Mrs. Lee, 54, was able to give birth to a 17-year-old son by using the technology of “three-parent baby” after the failure of her 10th artificial conception. Lee said, “The moment I saw my son was born, the pain from over 5000 times of injections of ovulation induction disappeared instantly!”

Lee said that the number of the families which had failed conception due to the genetic defects is about 30,000. In 2015, the United Kingdom has passed “three-parent baby” technology for the treatment of infertility. At the same time, the United States also published the first successful case last year and revised the law simultaneously. However, Taiwan currently cannot even passed the clinical trial registration in the institutional review board because of the ethical issues. Therefore, Lee invited mothers and children together to call on the government to accelerate the pace of law revision in order to help more infertile families.

The director of Cheng Ching hospital's reproductive medicine center, Xie Chang Xing, said that the “three-parent baby” technology does significantly increase the fertility rate of infertile women at advanced maternal age. Unfortunately, although this technology has been discussed many times in medical conferences, same as the issue of surrogate mother,it is still difficult to reach consensus because the ethical issues involved.

Regarding of this situation, Mr. Wang Ying Wei, the director of HPA, said that the department is not familiar with the technology of “three-parent baby” and it’s still necessary to check the regulations on human trials to determine whether Lee is illegal. HPA's Maternity and Child Care Team leader Chen Miao Hsin said that three-parent baby's technology is relatively new and belongs to the medical profession, so the department will clarify which regulations should be used to manage this technology as soon as possible.