“At the end of an hour and a half of debate, the elected representatives of the House of Commons voted by 382 votes against 128 in favor of this technique of in vitro fertilization (IVF) with mitochondrial replacement, which paves the way for the conception of babies from the DNA of three people - a father, a mother and a female donor. "

Source: Radio-Canada

Through the next activities, the pupils will have to reflect on the ethical dilemma posed by this new technique of fertilization.


At the end of the activities, the student will be able to:

- Describe what in vitro fertilization is;
- Explain why couples use this reproductive technique;
- Understand the type of genetic manipulation that Great Britain is trying to allow;
- Name different types of genetic manipulation;
- Give your opinion on the technique of assisted procreation "with three DNA".

Suggested Activities

ACTIVITY 1: In vitro fertilization

First, ask the students what they know about in vitro fertilization.

Then invite students to think about this assisted reproduction technique by asking them the following questions:

- What name are sometimes given to babies conceived in this way?
- Why do people use this reproductive technique?
- If a fertile man is the carrier of a genetic disease, can his partner have recourse to in vitro fertilization?

Finally, ask them to find information on the technique of in vitro fertilization. Invite them to complete a diagram with the information found using the links in the Learn More section.

ACTIVITY 2: Change genetics

Recently, scientists have shown that it is now possible to modify DNA during fertilization in order to prevent the child from developing hereditary diseases during his life. This is genetic manipulation.

Invite students to discover a type of genetic manipulation which will be allowed in Britain if the bill is passed by the government. What will be the impacts if this new technique is legalized?

Then ask them to find other types of genetic manipulation that science is capable of doing. They can help each other by consulting the sites below. These manipulations may or may not be legal.

  1. Genetically modified baby
    Article from Agence Science Presse, August 13, 2008
  2. A tailor-made baby?
    Website that deals with ethical issues

Then write down on the board all the kinds of manipulations that can be carried out during in vitro fertilization.

Examples: selecting the sex of a baby, selecting the color of the eyes, etc.

ACTIVITY 3: For or against the “three DNA” technique?

Invite the students to put themselves in the shoes of the British MPs. They must take a position on the authorization to use the "three-DNA" technique during in vitro fertilization.

Tell students that they need to prepare to argue in order to get their point across.

In order to be well prepared, ask them to write in a chart the arguments in favor of the “three DNA” technique and those against.

As a whole class, lead the discussion. Choose a student to act as moderator and invite students to express their opinions.

Finally, you could resume the debate, but this time by being broader on the subject, that is to say simply ask the following question: For or against genetic manipulation?

More about the magazine

In vitro fertilization
Article on the Quebec government's health and wellness portal

The stages of in vitro fertilization (IVF)
PassportSanté.net article

Article from Doctissimo.ca

A tailor-made baby: For or against
Website that deals with ethical issues

British MPs say yes to babies with three parents
Article from La Presse, February 3, 2015