The Oldham Notebooks: an analysis of the development of IVF 1969-1978. IV. Ethical aspects
Reproductive BioMedicine and society Online
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Johnson, M., & Elder, K. (2015). The Oldham Notebooks: an analysis of the development of IVF 1969-1978. IV. Ethical aspects. Reproductive BioMedicine and society Online, 1 34-45. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rbms.2015.04.002
Six evidential sources are examined to investigate how Edwards and Steptoe applied ethical standards to their research leading to the birth of Louise Brown: 1. Their own contemporary writings from 1970 onwards. 2. Archival evidence from the British Medical Association (BMA), the British Association for the Advancement of Science (BAAS), and correspondence between Edwards and the Ford Foundation. 3. Minutes of Oldham General Hospital (OGH) Ethics Committee. 4. Letters by Edwards to prospective patients. 5. Oral evidence from interviews with a patient and colleagues. 6. Evidence from their clinical case management of patients. Taken together these sources suggest that Edwards and Steptoe demonstrated a strong awareness of the ethical issues involved, and offer evidence of honesty to patients about the realistic prospects of success and ethical practice. Nonetheless, decisive evidence that ethical aspirations were put into practice is not available.
ethics, Edwards and Steptoe, Oldham, test tube baby, history
The research was supported by grants from the Wellcome Trust (088708 and 094985), which otherwise had no involvement in the research or its publication.
Wellcome Trust (088708/Z/09/Z)
Wellcome Trust (100606/Z/12/Z)
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rbms.2015.04.002
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/248149