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(LifeSiteNews) — The United Kingdom has seen its first baby born using the DNA of three parents, using a process that carries grave ethical ramifications.

The BBC reports that the anonymous child was born to two parents with the aid of DNA from a female donor, which comprised 0.1 percent of the baby’s genetic material. The child is believed to be one of fewer than five to have been conceived in this manner worldwide since 2016.

Mitochondrial Replacement Technology (MRT), meant to prevent children from being born with mitochondrial diseases, uses in vitro fertilization (IVF) to replace the unhealthy mitochondrial DNA from the parents’ egg or embryo with a healthy substitute from a donor. Eventually as many as 150 babies could be born in this manner in the U.K., according to the BBC.

“It will be interesting to know how well the mitochondrial replacement therapy technique worked at a practical level, whether the babies are free of mitochondrial disease, and whether there is any risk of them developing problems later in life,” said Professor Robin Lovell-Badge of the Francis Crick Research Institute.

While the process may sound innocuous, this mitochondrial donation can be performed one of two ways, before or after fertilization, and if done after, it entails the destruction of an already-conceived embryonic human from the donor.

Catholic News Agency adds that the U.K.’s Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority insists that it “oversees a robust framework which ensures that mitochondrial donation is provided in a safe and ethical manner,” but the ethics remain far from settled. “The human embryo is a new human life, and it should be respected and protected from the moment of conception,” the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales has said on the subject.

In vitro fertilization is fraught with ethical peril, as it entails the conscious creation of scores of “excess” embryonic humans only to be killed and human lives being treated like commodities to be bartered over. The same destruction of human life is true of MRT, with added ethical dangers that even some liberals recognize, as LifeSiteNews has previously covered.

“[M]any secular and actively pro-choice scientists, bioethi­cists and women’s-health advocates have voiced grave and detailed concerns about the safety and utility of mitochondrial replacement,” according to Marcy Darnovsky, executive director of the Center for Genetics and Society in Berkeley, California, “and about authorizing the intentional genetic modification of children and their descendants.” She warns that MRT crosses a “legal and ethical line” that “genetic-engineering tools” should not be used “to modify gametes or early embryos and so manipulate the characteristics of future children.”