A Grave Disparity

Robert G Edwards NOBEL MEDICINA 2010Robert G. Edwards, the 2010 Nobel Prize winner of Physiology/Medicine for his development of in vitro fertilization (IVF), died yesterday at the age of 87.

Gina Kolata of The New York Times wrote in a recent article recounting Edwards’ controversial career that, according to the International Committee Monitoring Assisted Reproductive Technologies, the “technique [of IVF] has resulted in the births of five million babies…”

Not once in her article does Ms. Kolata attempt to tally the deaths that have resulted from Edwards’ awarded technique.

If we consider Edwards’ many failed attempts in the early 1970s to bring an IVF child to full health and vitality outside of the womb; all of the failed attempts at implantation made since then by the medical community at large; all of the children discarded and killed because of their sex, chromosomal abnormalities, perceived lack of vitality, or perceived genetic flaws; all of the children selectively terminated and sacrificed for the vitality of a perceived stronger brother or sister in the womb; and our current, dismal 29.4% success rate of implantation in IVF today, the exponential number of dead children to date is hard to even fathom.

Maybe that is why Ms. Kolata, the infertility industry, the CDC, and so much of the rest of the world choose to simply ignore them.

When will we as a culture start acknowledging the death that results from IVF? Do these children who have died not also deserve our attention and respect?