Expert says use of third donor in IVF 'close to cloning'

The British parliament is currently debating whether mitochondrial replacement treatment should be allowed to be performed on couples seeking to have children through IVF.

Experts believe the treatment, which involves a third donor, could help eradicate a large number of serious inherited diseases, but critics argue it is the start of a slippery slope towards designer babies.

Mitochondrial replacement therapy works by replacing defective DNA from an egg cell and injecting mitochondria from a healthy donor.

Under current Australian federal legislation this type of treatment is banned.

Dr Mark Bowman of the Fertility Society of Australia said there was scope to have a mature discussion in Australia about allowing the treatment, which should be a valid option.

"This definition of this treatment comes pretty close to that of cloning, and therefore it has been banned, although that may have not been