Members of parliament will take part in a rare conscience vote that could legalise a groundbreaking technique to stop babies being born with a debilitating and often deadly disease.
The bill, commonly known as Maeve's Law, was first introduced to parliament by Health Minister Greg Hunt in March.
It is named after five-year-old Maeve Hood, the daughter of Joel and Sarah Hood, who live in Mr Hunt's Victorian electorate.
Maeve has a severe type of mitochondrial disease which was diagnosed at 18 months.
If successful the bill would legalise partial DNA donations allowing women whose genes predispose their children to mitochondrial disease to have a biological child who would not inherit that predisposition.
The treatment involves replacing mitochondrial DNA from the mother with healthy mitochondrial DNA from the egg of a woman who is a donor.
On Tuesday, all members who wanted to participate were allowed to make a speech on the bill without a time constraint, in line with conscience vote procedure.
Due to the nature of the legislation involving gene modification, some religious members did not support the bill.
Australian Associated Press
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