The Wellcome Trust Centre for Mitochondrial Research, has been developing new IVF techniques which may potentially prevent women affected by mitochondrial DNA disease passing the condition on to their future children. Thanks to our patients help, hard work and support on the 3rd of February 2015 the House of Commons voted 382 to 128 to allow mitochondrial donation. Following on from this vote, on the 24th of February 2015, the House of Lords voted by 280 to 48 to allow mitochondrial donation. As a result, Jane Ellison, Parliamentary Under Secretary (Department of Health) passed mitochondrial donation into law at 5pm on the 4th of March 2015. A time line of events and associated activities are shown below.
During the time points highlighted (*) we performed all or a combination of the following activities
- Communicating with over 400 patients about the debate.
- Producing guidance notes about ‘meeting your MP’ for patients and relatives
- Social media activities informing patients about recent scientific and political developments surrounding our research
- Producing, and providing on our website patient publications such as a special edition of Mitonews. These all included details on how to request further information about the technique
- Helping prepare our patients to be accurately represented in the press by offering media training, and supporting them during interviews
- Holding drop in sessions about scientific and political developments during clinic time
- Providing home visits to patients houses to discuss policy developments.
- Participating in parliamentary drop in sessions and ensuring our patients could attend and speak to their MP if they chose to.