ARTIFICIAL fertilisation is changing human evolution because it allows the “disease prone” or “subfertile” to have babies and pass on faulty genes, a top fertility expert has claimed.
IVF procedures mean that defective genes that nature would normally stop from being transmitted to future generations are passed on, Dr Hans Hanevik suggests.
Getty – Contributor Invitro fertilisation (IVF) could eventually lead to changes in the human genome
Dr Hanevik, who is due to speak at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Vienna at the end of June, argues it is altering mankind’s natural biological course.
He says the birth of millions of babies through invitro fertilisation (IVF) might eventually change the human genome and the evolution of our species.
The babies are expected to grow up with the same genes meant their parents required help conceiving, he argues.
Hanevik wrote ahead of the conference: “In accordance with the principle of evolution, subsequent generations will thus be genetically adapted to an environment in which reproduction is increasingly dependent on technological intervention .”
Although it is a great medical achievement, it circumvents a range of reproductive barriers.Dr Hans Hanevik
The expert, who heads a fertility department at Norway’s Telemark Hospital, added: “IVF is not just a treatment for infertility, but also a technological intervention at the point in a human life cycle when natural selection process is at its strongest.
“Although it is a great medical achievement, it circumvents a range of reproductive barriers.”
In the UK, some 300,000 babies have been born through IVF since 1991 – the equivalent of just 40 in 750,000 babies born annually.
However, medical director of Midland Fertility Services Gill Lockwood told The Sunday Times couples who struggle to conceive are not genetically flawed but has “plumming” problems.
She said: “Women may have fallopian tubes blocked by appendicitis and men may have undescended testicles or have had a vasectomy.
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“IVF can overcome these problems. Even if they do have gene problems is that a reason to stop them being parents?
“IVF can bring delight and joy to people who finally get a baby — and to the siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles and so on.”
Hanevik has insisted his aim is not to criticise IVF but to start a discussion about the effects of the procedure.
Getty – Contributor Expert Dr Hans Hanevik has called for a discussion on the effects of the fertility treatment
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