The Fellows of the Culture of Life Foundation on Nobel Prize in Phys. or Med. Recipient Robert G. Edwards
On Monday, October 4, 2010, the Nobel Assembly announced its decision to award the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine to Robert G. Edwards for his development of the controversial procedure known as in vitro fertilization (IVF). Dr. Edwards rose to fame in 1978 when thanks to his efforts Louise Brown, the world’s first “test tube baby,” was born in Manchester England. Since then nearly four million people worldwide have been born through IVF and the field of artificial reproductive medicine has become a multi-billion dollar industry.
The Nobel Foundation’s decision to award Edwards the prize illustrates how profoundly political selection has become and how removed from the aim of medicine. Alongside the parents who’ve had their wish for a child fulfilled through IVF are the hundreds of thousands of embryos destroyed because they didn’t pass quality control; and the hundreds of thousands shunted off into cold-storage cans and earmarked as “spare” because their creators no longer had use for them; and the women whose fertility has been irreparably scarred by unsafe and unregulated egg-harvesting procedures. All these ‘great moments’ in medicine are, of course, ignored by the Swedish foundation. Ignored also is the ethical opposition to IVF of the worldwide Catholic Church, whose clear voice on behalf of the integrity of human procreation and the intrinsic dignity of every human life from conception to natural death was heard long before Edwards achieved fame in 1978.
The Fellows of the Culture of Life Foundation wish to publicize their profound disappointment with the crass politicizing of an accolade as eminent as the Nobel Prize.
The Fellows of the Culture of Life Foundation on Nobel Prize in Phys. or Med. Recipient R. Edwards