Britain becomes first nation to legalise 3-parent babies

A person has up to 24 years from birth to sue a doctor for any negligence or accident that caused permanent damage. Compensation can easily top the million-dollar mark. The change in the terms of insurance plans for doctors such that they will no longer be protected against suits once they stop paying for coverage could lead to fewer doctors willing to deliver babies in the future.

LONDON - Britain will become the first nation to legalise a "three-parent" IVF technique which doctors say can prevent inherited incurable diseases but which critics fear will lead to "designer babies".

After more than three hours of debate, lawmakers in parliament's upper house voted on Tuesday for a change in the law to allow the treatments, echoing a positive vote in the lower house earlier this month.

The treatment, called mitochondrial transfer, is known as"three-parent" in vitro fertilisation (IVF) because the babies, born from genetically modified embryos, would have DNA from a mother, a father and from a female donor.

It is designed to help families with mitochondrial diseases, incurable conditions passed down the maternal line that affect around one in 6,500 children worldwide.