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article imageVatican criticizes Medicine Nobel Prize awarded to Robert Edwards

By Igor I. Solar     Oct 5, 2010 in World
Vatican officials objected to the award of the Nobel Prize for Medicine to biologist Robert Edwards for the development of in-vitro fertilization. The President of the Pontifical Academy for Life said the award to Edwards is "completely out of order."
Despite acknowledging the merits of Edwards to the prize for his work in the reproductive field, Ignacio Carrasco de Paula, the head of the Vatican institution responsible for biomedical issues and the defense of life, claiming to speak in a personal capacity, said that Edwards “opened a house with the wrong door” from the moment his work focused on in-vitro fertilization and implicitly consented to the use of donations and purchases that involve humans, according to ANSA News Agency (in Italian). "Without Edwards there would be no market for human ovocytes. Without Edwards there would be no freezers full of embryos waiting to be transferred to a womb, or to be used for research or to die neglected and forgotten by all," said Monsignor Carrasco. He explained that the Vatican opposes in-vitro fertilization because it involves separating the process of fertilization to the sexual intercourse between husband and wife, and because it often leads to the destruction of embryos.
Other voices have joined the criticism of the Nobel award to Edwards. Lucio Romano, President of the Association of Science and Life of the Vatican, declared:“In-vitro fertilization ignores all the problems of ethics and stresses that man can be reduced from a subject to an object." He also said that this type of fertilization is "unacceptable" as it implies “the selection and elimination of human embryos.”
Romano said that Edwards will go down in history by applying to the human level “the techniques of the animal world," adding that these methods do not mean "progress."
Roberto Colombo, professor at the Catholic University of Milan, a member of the Pontifical Academy of Life and of the National Bioethics Committee said to ANSA: "Not everything that is scientifically brilliant, is medically possible and legally permissible, thereby, exempt from ethical, social and family consideration,"
It is not the first time that Edwards is facing criticism. Initially, his research did not have financial support from public institutions, since in the '70s the issue of artificial reproduction was highly controversial and certain components of society, including religious and scientific communities, were opposed to the application of this technique on ethical and moral grounds.
On the other hand, in Sweden, the committee awarding the Nobel Medicine Prize declared: "Professor Edwards' work had brought joy to infertile people all over the world. His achievements have made it possible to treat infertility, a medical condition afflicting a large proportion of humanity ...about 10% of all couples worldwide," declared the Committee.
More about Vatican, Robert edwards, Ivf, Nobel prize, Medicine
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