Clinicians, researchers and patients have welcomed a landmark law which will pave the way for remarkable new IVF technology to prevent Mitochondrial disease.
Known as “Maeve’s law” after a young Victorian girl with a rare genetic disorder, the legislation was passed by Federal Parliament allowing the specialised IVF procedure to be carried out in Australia.
It will involve replacing faulty mitochondria with healthy mitochondria to greatly reduce the risk of a child inheriting the disease.
Mitochondrial disease can be devastating, causing major organ failure, blindness, deafness, brain disorders, muscular problems and early death. About 50 babies are born with a severe form each year, and many die before the age of five.
The Kolling Institute’s Executive Director Professor Carolyn Sue is a globally recognised expert in this field, and says the new law is a tremendously important step for many families impacted by Mitochondrial disease.
“Maeve’s Law will help provide families affected by this inherited disease with the best opportunity to have a healthy, biologically related child,” she said.
“It will provide hope and may be life-changing for many families, particularly those where multiple generations are affected. It may help relieve the enormous emotional, physical, social and financial burden on affected families.