Mitochondrial donation: a consultation on draft regulations to permit the use of new treatment techniques to prevent the transmission of a serious mitochondrial disease from mother to child

Document type
Corporate author(s)
Great Britain. Department of Health
Department of Health
Date of publication
1 February 2014
Health Services
Social welfare
Material type

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This consultation seeks the views of stakeholders and the wider public about draft regulations to allow newly developed treatment techniques to prevent the transfer of a serious mitochondrial disease from a mother to her child. The techniques would involve the donation of healthy mitochondria. The draft regulations contained within this document are solely for consultation, after which a decision will be made about the regulations to put before Parliament.

Mitochondrial disease is caused by unhealthy mitochondria, passed from mother to child through faults in the mitochondrial DNA or by faults in nuclear DNA. It is estimated that 1 in 200 children are born every year in the United Kingdom with some kind of mitochondrial DNA disorder. Serious mitochondrial disease can have a devastating effect on families, including the premature death of children, painful debilitating and disabling suffering, long-term ill-health and low quality of life.