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Toward ethical regulation of mitochondrial donation

Julian Koplin and Esther Lestrell
Med J Aust 2022; 216 (3): . || doi: 10.5694/mja2.51396
Published online: 21 February 2022

To the Editor: In March 2021, the federal Parliament introduced a bill to legalise the use of the reproductive technology known as mitochondrial donation in Australia.1 Mitochondrial donation would be offered initially at a single trial clinic and, eventually, it would be made more widely available. The aim is to provide at‐risk women with the opportunity to have a genetically related child who is unlikely to develop maternally inherited mitochondrial disease. Legalising mitochondrial donation would have meaningful benefits for such women. However, as the bill currently stands, its implementation raises unresolved ethical and legal issues.

  • Julian Koplin1
  • Esther Lestrell2

  • 1 Monash Bioethics Centre, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC
  • 2 Monash University, Melbourne, VIC


Correspondence: julian.koplin@monash.edu

Acknowledgements: 

This project is being conducted with funding received from the Australian Government via the Medical Research Future Fund (Agreement #76744). The Mitochondrial Donation Ethical Legal Social Issues Group includes: Catherine Mills (Monash University), Chris Degeling (University of Wollongong), Karinne Ludlow (Monash University), Ainsley Newson (University of Sydney), Robert Sparrow (Monash University), Liz Sutton (Monash University), and Narelle Warren (Monash University).

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.

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