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‘Yes’ to mitochondrial replacement techniques and lesbian motherhood: a reply to Françoise Baylis
  1. César Palacios-González1,
  2. Giulia Cavaliere2
  1. 1 Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
  2. 2 Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, King’s College London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr César Palacios-González, Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 1PT, UK; cesar.palaciosgonzalez{at}


In a recent paper – Lesbian motherhood and mitochondrial replacement techniques: reproductive freedom and genetic kinship – we argued that lesbian couples who wish to have children who are genetically related to both of them should be allowed access to mitochondrial replacement techniques (MRTs). Françoise Baylis wrote a reply to our paper –‘No’ to lesbian motherhood using human nuclear genome transfer– where she challenges our arguments on the use of MRTs by lesbian couples, and on MRTs more generally. In this reply we respond to her claims and further clarify our position.

  • mitochondrial replacement techniques
  • mitochondrial replacement therapy
  • mitochondrial donation
  • mitochondrial DNA diseases
  • mitochondria
  • three person IVF
  • nuclear genome transfer

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  • Contributors GC and CP-G equally contributed to the conception and design of the work, and drafting the work and revising it critically for important intellectual content after a first review at the JME. Both authors approved the version to be re-submitted and are on agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

  • Funding We are both grateful to the Wellcome Trust for funding our research. GC is the grant holder of a Wellcome Trust Doctoral Studentship in Society and Ethics (grant no. WT108623/Z/15/Z). CP-G was funded via a Senior Investigator Award in Society and Ethics: The Donation and Transfer of Human Reproductive Materials (grant no. 097897/Z/11/Z) and is currently funded via a Wellcome Centre Grant (grant no. 203132/Z/16/Z).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.