United Kingdom Approves 3-Person Babies

United Kingdom Approves 3-Person Babies.

The methods involve altering an egg or embryo before it is transferred into a woman which had previously been forbidden by British law. They are intended to avoid passing on defects in the mother’s mitochondria, which can result in diseases including muscular dystrophy, heart, kidney, liver failure and severe muscle weakness.

It would appear that people opposing this would rather babies and children die of a horrific genetic disease, than have their superstition and uninformed sensibilities upset (like it was any of their damned business anyway).  This is an incredible breakthrough which could improve the standard of living for 1000s of people and possibly eradicate this form of debilitating genetic disease.  What is more worrying, are the comments in the thread of the Facebook post claiming that suffering is needed in this world, that if the world was perfect it would be called heaven, and the like.   “Just adopt” they say with an utter lack of compassion or empathy, (not that easy these days).

Because it's apparently that easy

Because it’s apparently that easy

It's not her suffering though is it.

It’s not her suffering though is it.

Argument from bad habits

Argument from bad habits

The trouble is, it is not their own suffering they claim is needed, but that (at least in this case) of innocent children and the parents who have to watch them die slowly. I wonder how many claim to be pro-life. These parents’ longing for healthy children, is entirely human and now that we know how to help them we should.

Thyroid deficiency is a real and life affecting condition.

It’s manageable with medication and monitoring from a doctor but is so frequently used as an excuse.

What is the Thyroid gland?[1]


  • Poor muscle tone
  • Fatigue (severe in undiagnosed cases)
  • Inability to regulate normal body temperature.
  • Depression
  • Muscle cramps
  • Weight gain
  • Water retention
  • Constipation
  • Decreased libido



If it is under-active it can lead to a condition known as hypothyroidism, which can produce many symptoms, such as severe fatigue, weakness and depression, and raise the risk of cardiovascular disease.The thyroid gland controls the rate at which the body burns energy and makes hormones, which help regulate heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature

An under-active thyroid, or hypothyroidism, develops when the thyroid gland produces too little thyroxine, and it is becoming more prevalent because of the ageing population.[2]

 “The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) recently set out guidance for how hypothyroidism should be diagnosed and treated in the UK.

It says the only accurate way to diagnose a thyroid disorder is via a blood test which measures hormone levels, and the only scientifically proven way of treating the condition is by topping up a patient’s natural thyroxine levels with a synthetic form of the hormone.”

 It is usually a degenerative condition which is more common in older people but it can develop at any time of life and without any previous family history.  Congenital hypothyroidism[3] is when an infant is born with the condition and thanks to modern routine screening (a heel prick blood test within 4 days of birth) these cases are picked up and treated throughout the course of their lives. In these cases a complete inactivity can occur.  Unfortunately the congenital condition is rare enough that doctors are yet to discover a cause.  It is highly unlikely for the condition to be passed on from parent to child.  In the UK there are only 2 familial cases of congenital hypothyroidism; my son and I am one of them (lucky us).

There is no cure.  It will not get better on its own. It requires constant monitoring and medication for life.

Personal Experience.

My son and I were both with the congenital form of the condition.  My son underwent a scan to find out the cause of his inactive thyroid (it had not moved into the throat and was still semi-developed under his tongue.  I do not know why mine is inactive because 30 years ago there was no facility to scan in that detail.  The difference between my son and I is that the technician who was processing the batch of tests mine was in messed it up and my parents were not alerted (there is no all clear, if you haven’t heard in 5 days, you should assume a good result).  Infants who are diagnosed promptly (as my son was) and prescribed the artificial replacement hormone should suffer no ill-effects if treated and maintained correctly. I was diagnosed 6 weeks late and symptoms had already become advanced and they not completely reversible.

 Due the error of one person I have been left with permanent symptoms of the condition that no tablet can counteract.  I nearly died at six weeks old due to a wrong diagnosis. Slurred speech and coordination aside, sometimes just getting out of bed in the morning is a battle of attrition.  When you have an under active or in active thyroid, you know about it but you manage because you have to.

Obesity from Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is managed with a single dose of thyroxine or the artificial alternative, Levothyroxine (I’m on 200 mcg a day because I have no thyroid function).  While it is true that untreated hypothyroidism sometimes leads to unexplained weight gain, once treatment begins that weight is as easily lost as any other.  There is a correlation between obesity and hypothyroidism though tests are inconclusive as to whether it is a cause or an effect of the condition[4].  Therefore declaring that your inability to leave your house or walk across a room due to your weight and size is caused by an easily managed condition is actually quite insulting to those who have it and manage it.  Hypothyroidism if untreated is life threatening.  When passed off as an excuse, you trivialise it.

 While obesity has been historically considered criteria to establish the diagnosis of hypothyroidism, the association between them is seldom encountered in patients. Nowadays the main metabolic criteria are the gain of weight in the presence of other symptoms of hypothyroidism. The large differences between the thermogenesis of hypothyroid and hyperthyroid patients underline the complex relationship of thyroid hormones and metabolic pathways. The treatment of a subclinical hypothyroidism has almost no influence on the body weight, whereas in more severe dysfunctions a weight loss is expected, usually less than 10% of body weight. Thereafter severe obesity may not be secondary to a thyroid failure.”[5]

 Please do not use hypothyroidism as an excuse, especially if you know you have not been diagnosed with it or even tested with it.  It’s one of those ‘invisible’ conditions, and those of us that have it manage it usually being thought of as malingerers and lazy.  It’s manageable but that does not mean it isn’t serious.

 Woo Warning!

There is a serious risk when the condition is wrongly diagnosed.  It is just as dangerous to be prescribed thyroxine when you don’t need it as it is to not have enough when you do.  The plethora of wrong information and websites claiming to offer alternative or natural[6] means of diagnosis and treatment is truly astonishing and extremely dangerous[7].

Do not be misled by the small size and unimpressive nature of the thyroxine tablets; this hormone is absolutely essential for the normal growth and development of your child.  Herbal ‘alternatives’ will make you and your child extremely ill.  If you are worried go to see a licensed doctor and ask for a TSH/T4 blood test.  Do not try to diagnose or treat yourself and do NOT try to obtain, ‘alternatives’ online.

 “On treatment the child with CHT is normal. Thyroxine is not really a medication – it is simply an exact replacement of a missing chemical. The child can therefore have the usual set of immunizations and treatments needed for other conditions without any problems. There is a natural tendency to worry that quirks of physique or behaviour may relate to the CHT or its treatment but be assured that as long as the thyroxine dose is appropriate then this is not the case.”

[1] (The BBC, Wednesday, 18 November 2009)

[2] (The BBC, Friday, 27 March 2009)

[3] (B.S.PE.D., 2011)

[4] (NCBI, 2008)

[5] (NCBI, 2009)

[6] (Shomon, 2006)

[7] (Stephen Barrett, 2006)

Works Cited

Forget homeopathy, doctors need to make up their minds about placebos | Martin Robbins | Science | guardian.co.uk

Forget homeopathy, doctors need to make up their minds about placebos | Martin Robbins | Science | guardian.co.uk.

“Last week we were treated to the sight of hundreds of British doctors voting on whether homeopathy has a place in the NHS – a surreal spectacle on a par with watching a geologists’ union arguing what their position on the likelihood of a flat Earth should be…”

Why does it take a vote to decide on an issue on which common sense should be the deciding factor?  The fact remains that a proportion of people DO still believe that homoeopathy ‘works’ and is harmless.  This is where I have to disagree.  Homoeopathy is an industry and like any industry its prime concern is its bottom-line.  It always helps sales to show that you ‘believe in your product’, but I wonder how many of the industry’s best and brightest would truly be willing to put it to the test in the case of their own health and the health of their friends and loved ones?

“In fact their arguments weren’t really about homeopathy at all, but made a compelling case for a wider debate about British medicine’s elephant in the room – the placebo”

The fact is that homoeopathy, should have been entirely replaced by effective medicine long before now in favour of the conventional medicine that does not rely on mysticism and superstition as it’s basis.  Replacing it with known placebos is not a viable answer.  It is a ‘let’s do nothing but just say we did‘ knee-jerk reaction to the realisation that many people have realised these ‘therapies’ are not only useless, but also dangerously counter-productive.  Homoeopathy has a vast public following but I can’t help but suspect that this stems from both a lack of understanding, and deliberately misleading advertising.

“Garner made three points to me: that we shouldn’t be withdrawing treatments that work for patients (whether this is a placebo effect or not); that the medicines these patients might otherwise be given, such as painkillers, SSRI antidepressants or antibiotics, may have side effects or be more expensive; and that by catering to their whims “we keep the patients in contact with conventional medicine so if their symptoms change they are not alienated from mainstream medicine“.”

Does the power of the placebo not depend upon ignorance and unwillingness to question ‘evidence‘?  If I knew that I was taking a mere sugar pill for a headache which over the counter drugs had not eased, I am certain that it would not work.  If I was prescribed a placebo without my knowledge which then did not work, I would certainly then be led to further worry and concern about WHY the drugs I was knowingly prescribed by a medical professional were not working.  This is the danger we face in legislating that doctors may or should, issue prescriptions for placebos.  We have to be able to trust our doctors so I don’t agree in any degree that a doctor should be deceiving their patients by prescribing anything that is harmless enough to be bought over the counter at a pharmacy (or sweet shop).

“…homeopathy is a rip-off – why should the NHS pay a fiver a time for magic sugar pills when a tube of Smarties costs 50p, comes in lots of different colours and has pretty much the same evidence base?”

Were I to cease my medication for my thyroid condition in I would be dead within months after spiralling into depression, hair loss, extreme weight gain, and dry skin conditions.  Sites such as

employ scare tactics to persuade possible sufferers of similar late onset conditions, that rather than visiting a doctor, the wiser choice would be to buy their products.  This is the worst form of rip-off.  It’s a dangerous one that has the very real potential of costing lives.  I am unlucky enough to have been born with an inactive thyroid, as was my son, but in that I also know the dangers of not taking the prescribed medication and will be able to educate my son about our condition so he will be safe from these scams.

“…homoeopaths are not trained in the same way that doctors are to make diagnoses or give out prescriptions. Nobody claims that all real doctors are perfect either, but with the best will in the world, giving homoeopaths responsibility for front-line medicine is like letting toddlers fix your car because they can drive a go-kart and make “vroom vroom” noises.”

The difference between homoeopathy and placebos is the same as the difference between blue paint and yellow paint.  It may look different on the surface and it may sound different, but it is still paint.  If people wish to waste their money on alternative medicine then it is up to them to make the informed choice and live with the consequences.  These remedies and potions should not be available let alone prescribed on the NHS. The key is in the name ‘alternative’.  What is now conventional medicine was developed because the others didn’t work and gone are the days where all we had were herbalism and folk remedies to rely on.

“A fact nobody disputes is that for some patients, homeopathy works, just as any sugar pill would. Is there therefore a case for allowing placebos – and by extension alternative medicine – to be used in treating patients?”

In which case, I wonder if they really did need to medicate the condition at all?  I am not suggesting or accusing anyone of  hypochondria but I suspect that these ‘medicines’ and placebos seem to work best in curing psychosomatic symptoms;  they work because people think they work and that they are taking something based on science.  If a doctor feels the need to prescribe a placebo, then they should probably be suggesting counselling as well. Were they to visit a counsellor I am sure they would experience much the same result while actually discovering the cause of their symptoms.