“Without Edwards there would be no market for human eggs; without Edwards there would not be freezers full of embryos waiting to be transferred to a uterus, or, more likely, used for research or left to die, abandoned and forgotten by all.”
Ignazio Carrasco de Paula, President of the Pontifical Academy for Life
Officials from the Vatican are criticizing the Nobel Prize committee for awarding the prize to Robert Edwards for pioneering “test tube” babies or In vitro fertilisation which gives infertile couples the ability to have children.
The Vatican has said that the committe ignored the ethical complications that have arose from the treatment such as children with four or five parents or babies born from their grandmothers.
Edwards’ work with gynecologist and fellow Briton Dr Patrick Steptoe led to the birth in July 1978 of Louise Brown, the world’s first ‘test tube baby’ produced by In vitro fertilisation.
The procedure has resulted in 4.3 million births worldwide.
The Vatican is opposed to IVF because it allows conception without sex between a husband and wife and often results in the destruction of embryos.
Edwards, who is 85, has been in poor health recently and it is not clear whether he will be able to attend the Nobel prize ceremony.