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The embryo with three DNAs: a five-fold transgression

Published on 02/20/2015 in Press releases


Creating a baby with three parents will soon be authorised in Great Britain. A technique which consists in associating in vitro three DNA’s: the one contained in the spermatozoon, the one contained in the nucleus of a first egg, and the one contained in the mitochondrion (zone which surrounds the nucleus) of a second egg. This is a construction one cannot speak of as a discovery. The input of male and female reproductive cells for the constitution of a human being is not what is being questioned. The change lies in the female DNA, which is split in two and comes from two eggs of two different women.

What is the meaning and scope of what is presented by the media as a rather positive innovation? To understand the meaning of all this, it is necessary to keep clear of two temptations: compassionate terrorism and technical blindness.

The fabrication of a genome with three embryos is justified as the way to avoid the transmission, though the mother’s DNA, of genetic diseases due to this mitochondrial DNA. The humanitarian complaint that allows to say yes to anything, including the fabrication of humans according to arbitrary criteria, is highly recognisable. Let’s say this again: if we give in to a morality that obeys to consequences, then end justifies the means. The truth is, procedures than do not include undignified means can be chosen to cure people.

The second vector of transgression is technicism. “We can accumulate technique but not wisdom”, used to say Jérôme Lejeune”. We are facing a five-fold moral transgression: gamete selection (as in breading), in vitro fertilization (with a third donator), embryonic manipulation (with genetic fiddling), germ-line intervention (with a transmission to the descendants), embryonic sorting (with PGD and/or PND). To eugenics can be added experimentation on humans.

The scope of such an authorisation shows that laws on bioethics are sandbanks, incapable of fighting the demiurgic nightmares on the long run. But more than anything else, post humanism is not this future presented by some in the form of a ridiculous scarecrow (half-human/ half-robot beings fabricated to last a thousand years). We have already entered into an era stripped from its humanity, on which the unconditional respect of a human being no longer means anything. Life has become a material that needs to be dealt with. The answer to men’s craziness is neither technical nor legal, it is spiritual.

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