Select Site Color 

Water Theme Molecules Theme Robotics Theme Eco Garden Theme Astronomy

Bioethics Public Forum

Mitochondrial Replacement: Ethics and Law


Date: 27 May 2017 (Saturday)
Time: 2.30-4.30pm
Venue: Science Centre Singapore
Cost: The public forum is free. Science Centre admission is free for pre-registered participants.
Registration: Prior registration is required. Please email  with your name, institution/organisation (if any), number of people attending and contact details by 23rd May. 


Mitochondria provide energy for our cells to function, and are commonly referred to as the “powerhouse of the cell”. As defective mitochondria could result in a variety of conditions like blindness, disability or even premature death, mitochondrial replacement techniques have been proposed to prevent the transmission of mitochondrial disorders from affected mothers to their children. Such techniques involve replacing the mother’s faulty mitochondria with healthy mitochondria from another woman, either at the egg or embryo stage. As this would result in a child with genetic material from three sources (father, mother and egg donor), the media has dubbed these children as “three-parent” babies.

Do these children really have three parents? How important is genetic kinship and to what extent should individuals’ wishes to have genetically-related children be respected? What is the scope of parental decision-making for such novel reproductive technologies? How should we regulate such rapidly emerging reproductive technologies? Join our speakers in this session to discuss the ethical, legal and social issues surrounding mitochondrial replacement.

Click on the poster for a bigger version.



A/Prof Ainsley Newson is Associate Professor of Bioethics in the Centre for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine at the University of Sydney, Australia. Ainsley has a multidisciplinary background, including Bachelor degrees in science and law; and a PhD in Bioethics. Her research focuses emerging genomic and reproductive technologies, specifically on ethical aspects of genetics, genomics, genome editing, mitochondrial replacement and synthetic biology. She has published widely and gained research funding in these areas, as well as commented regularly in the media and in public events.






Mr Gregory Vijayendran serves as the President of the Law Society and is concurrently a partner in the Commercial Litigation Practice Group in Rajah & Tann LLP. His practice covers many areas of law yet he has maintained a keen interest on bio-ethics issues having spoken in public forums on topics relating to consent, children and neuroethics. He is presently a member of the Bioethics Advisory Committee having been awarded the Long Service Award (5 years) for his services by the Ministry of Health in 2016. He serves on the Neuroethics Working Group. He is a lay person member of the National Transplant Ethics Panel and a Founding Director of the Singapore Cord Blood Bank. 






Organised By


Back to Top