As it turns out, despite the constant advances of women towards “having it all”, we have a while to go yet. According to Sarah Elizabeth Richards, we women still haven’t quite embraced the ability to control when we have children. Enter egg freezing. Read more…
by Michael Cook
Robert Edwards, the inventor of IVF, died two days after Margaret Thatcher. History may show that his impact was even greater than hers.
The creator of the first IVF baby, 2010 Nobel Laureate Robert Edwards, died last week. Obituaries and eulogies by colleagues, friends and admirers spoke of a passionate man with boundless energy, driven by a desire to bring happiness to infertile couples. Since he is directly responsible for the birth of some five million children since the first IVF baby in 1978, his legacy is worth pondering. Read more…
Scientists often believe that if something can be done it should be done. But that’s not always true.
The subtitle of Mary Shelley’s famous novel “Frankenstein,” was “The Modern Prometheus.” The reference is to the Greek legend about the tragic consequences of endowing humanity with god-like power. Shelley’s Frankenstein is about a scientist operating without regard for moral and ethical constraints. Read more…
by Hilary White
LONDON, March 27, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A technique to implant donor DNA from a third party into in vitro embryos has been approved by the British Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA). The technique is a form of “germline” alteration that involves modification of the person’s mitochondrial DNA (MDNA) to create genetic changes that will be carried on throughout subsequent generations. Read more…
Near the end of a lengthy, laudatory profile in the Ottawa Citizen 12 years ago, Dr. Norman Barwin revealed that giving one of his artificial-insemination patients the wrong sperm would be “his worst nightmare.”
It was an unusual admission by a fertility specialist with a near-mythical reputation. Five years earlier, he had been made a member of the Order of Canada for work the governor general’s office said had had “a profound impact” on women’s reproductive health. He has led Planned Parenthood and the Infertility Awareness Association, provided treatment to the poor and disenfranchised, promoted abortion rights and earned an honorary degree from Carleton University.
The reason for his fear of semen mix-ups, however, became crystal clear on Thursday.
Dr. Barwin was suspended from practice for two months and sternly reprimanded, after admitting to a College of Physicians and Surgeons disciplinary panel that he had, indeed, impregnated three women with the incorrect semen over a two-decade period. One only discovered the blunder two years ago, when her son turned 23.
And the physician admitted there had been at least one other case of incorrect insemination, in 1995, handled less formally by the college, which urged him then to tighten up his practice.
As two of the families affected by his mistakes looked on stoney-faced, the discipline panel voiced dismay at the multiple errors, two of which occurred after the earlier warning.
Even with three years of investigation, no one is quite sure how the mistakes happened.
“It is hard to imagine a more fundamental error in your former speciality than that of failing to impregnate the right woman with the right sperm,” said Dr. Willing King, the panel’s chair. “Your errors have condemned [the parents] to psychological and emotional pain, and deprived the children of the ability to know their biological fathers.”
Wife whose husband became secret sperm donor calls for change in the law to require partners’ consent
- Wife concerned about the psychological affect potential children fathered by her husband will have on the family
- His donation may produce as many as 20 children
- She claims, in marriage, the husband’s sperm should be considered ‘marital asset’
- In a letter to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, she calls for wives’ consent to be mandatory Read more…
September 7, 2012 http://www.thepublicdiscourse.
The question of surrogacy has always been more about us than about the participants in the relationship. Will we use the power of the people to take a child from the arms of her mother when the mother is perfectly fit, loves her child, and desires to discharge her duties to her child? Read more…
CHICAGO, August 3, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – One former in-vitro fertilization (IVF) expert’s difficult moral journey towards becoming the first of his kind to embrace a new vision of fertility treatment, one in line with his religious faith, began with the intervention of a Catholic priest. Read more…