Robert Edwards: the path to IVF.
Bottom Line: Steptoe’simpact on Edwards was twofold.First, Steptoe’s long-held interest in infertility raised this application of IVF higher in Edwards’priorities.Second, Steptoe offered a long-term partnership, in which oocyte collection without in-vitro maturation was a possibility.The professional criticism generated by their work together encouraged Edwards to pursue a deliberate programme of public education about the issues raised and to challenge and develop professional bioethical thought and discourse about reproduction.
Affiliation: The Anatomy School, Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience and The Centre for Trophoblast Research, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 1HW, UK. email@example.comShow MeSH
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Mentions: However, the establishment was, with few exceptions, unwilling to engage seriously in ethical debates (Edwards, 1974; Jones and Bodmer, 1974) in advance of the final validation of IVF that was to come in 1978 with the birth of Louise Brown (Figure 13; Edwards and Steptoe, 1978). Only then did the UK social, scientific and medical hierarchies, such as the MRC, the British Medical Association, the Royal Society and Government move gradually from their almost visceral reactions against IVF and its possibilities to serious engagement with the issues (Johnson and Theodosiou, 2011). Then, to their credit, both the MRC and the Thatcher Government of the time came on board, but it was not until 1989, 24 years after Bob’s 1965 visionary paper in the Lancet, that the UK Parliament finally gave its stamp of approval to his vision, and then only after a fierce battle lasting some 11 years (Johnson and Theodosiou, 2011; Mulkay, 1997).
Affiliation: The Anatomy School, Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience and The Centre for Trophoblast Research, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 1HW, UK. firstname.lastname@example.org