Doctors in Newcastle, who developed the advanced form of IVF, are expected to be the first to offer the procedure and have already appealed for donor eggs. “It is a decision of historic importance,” said Sally Cheshire, chairwoman of the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority (HFEA). The HFEA must approve every clinic and every patient before the procedure can take place. “We will also provide long-term follow up of any children born,” Prof Sir Doug Turnbull, the director of the Welcome Centre for Mitochondrial Research at Newcastle University, said.
One in 4,300 children are now born with Mitochondrial disease and develop muscle weakness, blindness, deafness, seizures, learning disabilities, diabetes, heart and liver failure. Previously, a Jordanian couple and doctors in New York performed the procedure in Mexico and the resulting baby is understood to be healthy.