Nobel Prize for IVF pioneers

It is wonderful news that Dr. Robert G. Edwards and Dr. Patrick Steptoe won the Nobel Prize for medicine. Their research has helped millions of couples around the world and I am personally grateful to them for allowing us the chance to have a family.

The NY Times article talking about their accomplishments also talked about the challenges they faced.

Both Dr. Edwards and Dr. Steptoe had to endure an unremitting barrage of criticism while developing their technique. Dr. Steptoe “faced immense clinical criticism over his laparoscopy, even being isolated at clinical meetings in London,” Dr. Edwards wrote in the journal Nature Medicine in 2001 after receiving the Lasker award. “Ethicists decried us, forecasting abnormal babies, misleading the infertile and misrepresenting our work as really acquiring human embryos for research.”

What does this remind you of? So many parallels to the debates that rage today…

If the conservative right-wing was in charge, science would not progress on so many dimensions. If they had got their way back in the ’70s and ’80s, there would be an incredible number of childless couples today.

Let’s all be thankful that they didn’t win then and I hope they don’t win now.

  • Check this link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-11472753
    Its ludicrous comments like these that are the source of political will that impedes scientific progress.

  • Check this link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-11472753
    Its ludicrous comments like these that are the source of political will that impedes scientific progress.

  • Wow, that’s astounding. So, the Vatican would rather the millions of families be childless.

    And to those who say “It is God’s will” – do you also deny yourself medical treatment or vaccinations and leave your fate to God’s will?

    Elegantstroke – thanks for sharing.

  • Wow, that’s astounding. So, the Vatican would rather the millions of families be childless.

    And to those who say “It is God’s will” – do you also deny yourself medical treatment or vaccinations and leave your fate to God’s will?

    Elegantstroke – thanks for sharing.

  • RationalHuman

    Puh-leez!!!
    If you *actually look* at the history of the IVF, it was Progressives (who call themselves Liberals)- who were worried about “overpopulation” in the 60s and 70s- who wanted to deny funding to IVF research.

    And you can ask any bio-ethicist about the concerns of discarding human embryos- it’s not just a religious issue. It’s a real issue of discarding human life (not human beings- human life!).

  • RationalHuman

    Puh-leez!!!
    If you *actually look* at the history of the IVF, it was Progressives (who call themselves Liberals)- who were worried about “overpopulation” in the 60s and 70s- who wanted to deny funding to IVF research.

    And you can ask any bio-ethicist about the concerns of discarding human embryos- it’s not just a religious issue. It’s a real issue of discarding human life (not human beings- human life!).

  • Read the article and see what they battled against.

    If “human life” was not discarded, human beings, real, little babies that change parents’ lives, couldn’t exist today.

    And it’s my eggs, my embryos. My decision.

    I’d really like the right-wing to not use IVF if they really believe the crap they espouse – would save the world from more of them.

  • Read the article and see what they battled against.

    If “human life” was not discarded, human beings, real, little babies that change parents’ lives, couldn’t exist today.

    And it’s my eggs, my embryos. My decision.

    I’d really like the right-wing to not use IVF if they really believe the crap they espouse – would save the world from more of them.

  • RationalHuman

    It’s the NYT. Of course they minimize and ignore the idiocy of the “left”. The club of Rome gave up on India and said effectively “India cannot feed itself and will die”. They pushed the sterilization programs of Sanjay Gandhi!! These utopian socialists are responsible for more suffering than ANYONE on the right. These misguided morons believe they can predict the future (Marxism) and then lay out their solution- Global warming solutions are today’s equivalents

    Scientists like Norman Borlaug fixed the problem in a way the left never predicted! Just as scientists today will. Don’t just attack the conservative viewpoint- at least it didn’t preach extermination of the poor!!

    And this sounds like ethically sound research to you? “At first, the hormones given the mother to induce ovulation interfered with the growth of the embryo. Drs. Edwards and Steptoe then injected mothers with extra hormones, but these turned out to induce abortions.”. Wouldn’t pass a bio-ethics panel today! No wonder Stockholm decided to wait to award the prize (couple that with the issue of discarded human life).

    It’s not about just the outcome- it’s about the ethics of the process. If we could eliminate a group (say Indians) and the world would be able to avoid Global warming and all its problems, should we allow it? That’s the point.

  • RationalHuman

    It’s the NYT. Of course they minimize and ignore the idiocy of the “left”. The club of Rome gave up on India and said effectively “India cannot feed itself and will die”. They pushed the sterilization programs of Sanjay Gandhi!! These utopian socialists are responsible for more suffering than ANYONE on the right. These misguided morons believe they can predict the future (Marxism) and then lay out their solution- Global warming solutions are today’s equivalents

    Scientists like Norman Borlaug fixed the problem in a way the left never predicted! Just as scientists today will. Don’t just attack the conservative viewpoint- at least it didn’t preach extermination of the poor!!

    And this sounds like ethically sound research to you? “At first, the hormones given the mother to induce ovulation interfered with the growth of the embryo. Drs. Edwards and Steptoe then injected mothers with extra hormones, but these turned out to induce abortions.”. Wouldn’t pass a bio-ethics panel today! No wonder Stockholm decided to wait to award the prize (couple that with the issue of discarded human life).

    It’s not about just the outcome- it’s about the ethics of the process. If we could eliminate a group (say Indians) and the world would be able to avoid Global warming and all its problems, should we allow it? That’s the point.

  • Ah, the standard bearer for science and the progress of science taking the opposite view when it suits him.

  • Ah, the standard bearer for science and the progress of science taking the opposite view when it suits him.

  • RationalHuman

    Always within the bounds of ethics. Otherwise you end up with the Nazi experiments! Or Tuskegee or the US Syphilis experiments in Guatamala (under a Democrat, no less!)

  • RationalHuman

    Always within the bounds of ethics. Otherwise you end up with the Nazi experiments! Or Tuskegee or the US Syphilis experiments in Guatamala (under a Democrat, no less!)