Los Angeles 10/5/2010 10:03:32 PM
News / Health & Wellness

Vatican Critical Of Nobel Prize Winner

An official from the Vatican has criticized the awarding of a Nobel Prize to Robert Edwards, a British doctor involved with the developing the process of in vitro fertilization.

Ignazio Carrasco de Paula, who is president of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life has called the award to Dr. Edwards “completely inappropriate” according to ANSA, Italy’s official news agency.

Edwards is known as the ‘father of the test-tube baby’ and was awarded the prize for medicine on Monday. De Paula states that his contribution toward IVF treatment has created a market for human ovum and has lead to the practice of embryos being frozen.

The awarding committee, on the other hand, state that, "as early as the 1950s, Edwards had the vision that IVF could be useful as a treatment for infertility," a problem affecting around 10 percent of couples globally. “His efforts were finally crowned by success on 25 July, 1978, when the world's first 'test tube baby' was born." His contribution to the IVF process has meant the birth of an estimated four million children and a milestone in modern medical advancements.

Dr. Edwards is still in contact with the first ‘test tube baby’, Louise Brown, who will turn 32 this year.

Dr. Edwards will be awarded around $1.5 million, or 10 million Swedish kronor as the recipient of the Nobel Prize for medicine. More prizes, in the categories of chemistry, physics, literature and the most famous Nobel peace prize are to be awarded in the next couple of weeks.