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The combination of genuine ethical concerns and fear of learning to use germ-line therapy for human disease must now be confronted. Until now, no established techniques were available to perform this treatment on a human. Through an integration of several fields of science and medicine, we have developed a nine step protocol at the germ-line level for the curative treatment of a genetic disease. Our purpose in this paper is to provide the first method to apply germ-line therapy to treat those not yet born, who are destined to have a life threatening, or a severely debilitating genetic disease. We hope this proposal will initiate the process of a thorough analysis from both the scientific and ethical communities. As such, this proposal can be useful for official groups studying the advantages and disadvantages of germ-line therapy.
In responding to our paper “Germ-Line Therapy to Cure Mitochondrial Disease: Protocol and Ethics of In Vitro Ovum Nuclear Transplantation” (CQ Vol 4., No. 3), Matthew D. Bacchetta and Gerd Richter include several misinterpretations and misrepresentations of our IVONT protocol and structure for ethical debate. We actively invited scrutiny of our IVONT protocol; however, for us to seriously respond to criticisms of our publication, we suggest respectfully that those who critique the article critique the protocol that we proposed. First and foremost, we certainly do not have a “misunderstanding of cellular biology” regarding mitochondrial genetics.
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