In the United Kingdom, the birth nearly a month ago (25 July) of the first baby conceived outside its mother's womb provoked much controversy over the associated legal and ethical issues.
In the United Kingdom, the birth nearly a month ago (25 July) of the first baby conceived outside its mother's womb provoked much controversy over the associated legal and ethical issues. Now, the first film is available of the actual birth of Louise Joy Brown, the 5 Lb 12 oz (2.6 kilograms) daughter of Mr John and Mrs Lesley Brown of Bristol. The event gave hope to thousand of infertile women. It proved the ability of doctors and scientists to fertilise the human egg in the laboratory. The birth was by Caesarian Section.
SYNOPSIS: The birth took place at a quarter to midnight on 25 July in Oldham in the north of England. Mr Patrick Steptoe, Honorary Consultant Gynaecologist at the Oldham General Hospital attended to the preparation of Mrs Brown. Nearly 9 months ago he had surgically removed an egg from her and gave it to physiologist Dr Robert Edwards who saw to its fertilisation with Mr Brown's sperm in the laboratory. It was then replaced to develop normally. Mr Steptoe is again ready to remove it from Mrs Brown's body, only now it has grown to be an infant. Mr Steptoe was assisted by an Anaesthetist, a Consultant Paediatrician and nursing staff.
Mr Steptoe considered the Caesarian operation necessary because Mrs Brown had contracted Toxaemia during her pregnancy. He delivered a normal child.
The child was given careful treatment in its first few moments in the world. Checks revealed that it was as healthy as a naturally conceived child.
In 1977 Mr Steptoe had removed Mrs Brown's Fallopian tubes. They had become so distorted that they had caused her infertility, leaving the test-tube method the only way Mrs Brown could possibly have her own child. In normal conception, fertilisation occurs within the tubes, The break-through came when they were by-passed in the laboratory.
The 5Lb 12oz (2.6 kilogram) girl was the product of close collaboration between doctor and scientist. The scientist in the team, and eager to hold the child was Dr Robert Edwards. He is a Cambridge physiologist whose 20 years of research led to the successful fertilisation.