WASHINGTON — Robert Edwards was credited this week for some 4 million people that would not exist today were it not for a groundbreaking technique he developed.
But others pointed to the untold numbers of embryos that perished and hundreds of thousands in frozen preservation because of it.
It was announced Oct. 4 that Edwards would receive the Nobel Prize for Medicine. The British biologist and clinician, with his physician colleague Patrick Steptoe, developed in vitro fertilization.
Louise Brown — the world’s first “test-tube baby,” born in 1978 — applauded Edwards’ achievement. But Catholic bioethicists and some researchers and clinicians challenged the Nobel Prize Committee’s decision to honor Edwards, noting that his innovation resulted in the destruction of millions of human embryos and ushered in a “brave new world” of anonymous sperm donors and “surrogate mothers.”
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