The Regulation of Mitochondrial Replacement Techniques Around the World

I. Cohen, Harvard University
Eli Adashi, Brown University
Sara Gerke, Penn State Dickinson Law
César Palacios-González, University of Oxford
Vardit Ravitsky, School of Public Health, University of Montreal


Mitochondrial replacement techniques (MRTs, also referred to as mitochondrial replacement therapies) have given hope to many women who wish to have genetically related children but have mitochondrial DNA mutations in their eggs. MRTs have also spurred deep ethical disagreements and led to different regulatory approaches worldwide. In this review, we discuss the current regulation of MRTs across several countries. After discussing the basics of the science, we describe the current law and policy directions in seven countries: the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia, Germany, Israel, and Singapore. We also discuss the emerging phenomenon of medical tourism (also called medical travel) for MRTs to places like Greece, Spain, Mexico, and Ukraine. We then pull out some key findings regarding similarities and differences in regulatory approaches around the world.