We were saddened to learn about today’s passing of Robert Edwards, the pioneer of IVF. Edwards died at the age of 87 after a long illness, and no doubt leaves behind a remarkable legacy. Thanks to decades of research dating back to the 1950s, he developed in-vitro fertilization into a truly miraculous science and the birth of more than 5 million babies. The 1978 birth of Louise Brown, often referred to as the first “test tube baby,” ushered in a new era of family building that has expanded exponentially to include the field of third party reproduction.
As many as 1 to 2 percent of babies in the Western world are now conceived through IVF, experts say. And while the procedure is not without controversy, it has allowed the one in six couples worldwide who face infertility a viable option to create their family.
“He leaves the world a much better place,” said Peter Braude, a London professor of obstetrics and gynecology. Few biologists, he added, have been able to have such a positive and practical impact on humankind. Edwards was awarded a Nobel prize for medicine in 2010.
It is a privilege to honor Dr. Edwards and his tireless work in the world of assisted reproductive technology. The intended parents whose lives have been so enriched through IVF - not to mention the egg donors and surrogates who are integral to the process - are testimony to the profound impact one person can have on his or her world. Thank you, Dr. Edwards.
All Things Conceivable is a blog dedicated to sharing the knowledge and expert opinions of the dedicated team at ConceiveAbilities, a Chicago-based egg donation and surrogacy agency.