The birth of the first 'test tube' baby in Oldham Lancashire on Tuesday (25 July) was greeted with world-wide medical interest, and it renewed hopes for thousands of childless couples everywhere.
GV: Oldham General District Hospital building. (2 shots)
GV INTERIOR: news cine and still cameramen and reporters (2 shots)
SV: Mr Patrick Steptoe (right) and Dr. Robert Edwards (left) posing for pictures before press conference.
CU: Mr Steptoe speaking.
CU: Dr Edwards speaking.
GV: Hammersmith Hospital, London.
CU: newspaper headlines.
INTERIOR SCU: Obstetrician, Professor Norman Morris interviewed.
SV AND CU: pregnant women and mothers with new babies in maternity ward. (2 shots)
CU: mother of new-born baby speaking.
TRANSCRIPT: SEQ. 4: DR. STEPTOE: "We think that, within a fairly reasonable time, with the right facilities, that this could become clinically applicable all over the world. But there has to be a reasonable amount of time for it to develop, because the final problems have not been solved."
REPORTER: "Does this successful pregnancy now mean that every woman, if she wishes who has blocked fallopian tubes, does it mean we can look forward to a successful pregnancy?"
STEPTOE: "No, of course not, because no doctor can ever guarantee one hundred percent success of any treatment. Women who have blocked fallopian tubes have a disease. We cannot eliminate the disease completely. All that we can say is that, there are many patients who have blocked tubes, who have no hope at all of pregnancy. Many of them are rejected for the other forms of treatment, such as surgery, to restore their tubes, or the operations they have are unsuccessful. Most of our patients have had this kind of treatment, and have been told there is no hope for them. What we are saying is that a proportion of patients will be able to have this treatment. When any medical advance is made, any medical advance is made, there is, first of all, one success. Somebody had to be the first. Then you get others. And you get five percent, ten percent, and so forth. And with the right facilities, and the right other teams working, this could be a treatment which will give a great hope to people, in the future, who can't have a baby at the present time."
SEQ. 5: EDWARDS: "For the first time, we have solved all the problems simultaneously. Having solved them once, I have no doubt we will solve them again, and that many other people will solve them again, too. I sincerely hope we can look forward to this technique as an addition to the clinical armoury for the treatment of (indistinct)."
REPORTER: "Professor Morris, now that we've had a successful test tube baby, is it likely that such conceptions will become normal?"
MORRIS: "You are saying we have had a successful...we are still waiting to hear that this baby is absolutely normal and healthy. The presumption is that it is. We have to assume that it is. If it is a normal, healthy baby, and in the subsequent months this is also proved to be true, then it is absolutely reasonable to believe in development, because throughout the world, throughout this country, there are hundreds, in fact, thousands of women who have damaged fallopian tubes, so that the egg cannot pass down into the uterus. We are creating a by-pass mechanism, so that the egg can be taken out and be put back into the uterus so that it doesn't have to go down the tubes. There are a lot of (indistinct) involved in this problem."
REPORTER: "Would you be prepared to have a test tube baby, if necessary, yourself?"
SEQ. 10: WOMAN: "I've been lucky, I wouldn't need to have one myself. It's a difficult question to answer. But I think, if you are childless, it must be wonderful to be able to have one."
REPORTER: "Are you a little bit concerned, though, that the technique might be abused?"
WOMAN: "I think it could be. Yes. But, on the whole, I think it's wonderful."
TELERECORDING prt original on 6969/78 400ft
Visnews Production Number 6901 (26 JULY) giving detailed background to the research that led to the birth of baby Brown, was sent to Visnews clients, except those who received the story through Eurovision transmission on Wednesday, 26 July.
REPORTER: IN LONDON: JOHN DARBY
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The birth of the first 'test tube' baby in Oldham Lancashire on Tuesday (25 July) was greeted with world-wide medical interest, and it renewed hopes for thousands of childless couples everywhere. Mrs Lesley Brown gave birth to a fair-haired girl, weighing a five pounds and twelve ounces nine months after the mother's egg and her husband's sperm were brought together in a laboratory. The baby, born nine days premature, and delivered by Caesarian section, was said to be in 'excellent condition' and Mrs Brown said she was 'feeling fine'. The birth crowned twelve years of research for gynaecologist, Mr Patrick Steptoe, and Cambridge University physiologist, Dr Robert Edwards. Mr Steptoe told a news conference at the hospital on Wednesday (26 July) that the birth would give great hope to couples who could not, at present, have children. Dr Edwards said he felt sure other doctors would be able to solve all the problems and achieve further births of this kind.
SYNOPSIS: The birth of baby Brown turned the Oldham and General District Hospital into a monument in medical research. Its telephone switchboard was jammed on Wednesday (26 July) with calls from all over the world from excited and curious couples. And the world's press gathered in swarms to find out from the two doctors wether this was the long-awaited breakthrough. Dr Steptoe was asked what he thought the birth portended for the other aspiring parents.
At Hammersmith Hospital in London, the reaction of noted gynaecologist Professor Norman Morris was sought.
Visnews' reporter John Darby spoke to a mother who had just had a baby in the normal way.