Vatican, Oct 5 (ANI): A Vatican official has slammed the decision to award the British in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) pioneer Robert Edwards with the Nobel Prize for medicine, saying it is "completely out of order".
According to the BBC, Ignacio Carrasco de Paula, President of the Pontifical Academy for Life and the Vatican's spokesman on bio-ethics, has claimed that IVF had led to the destruction of large numbers of human embryos and therefore criticised the Nobel medicine prize committee saying, the award ignored the ethical questions raised by the fertility treatment.
Nearly four million babies have been born using IVF fertility treatment since 1978.
Although Carrasco acknowledged that the IVF had been "a new and important chapter in the field of human reproduction," he called the committee's decision to honour Edwards with a Nobel prize as "completely out of order" because without his treatment, there would be no market for human eggs "and also a large number of freezers filled with embryos in the world".
"In the best of cases they are transferred into a uterus but most probably they will end up abandoned or dead, which is a problem for which the new Nobel prize winner is responsible," he added.
The Nobel medicine prize committee in Oslo, however, said Prof Edwards' work had brought "joy to infertile people all over the world". It also added that his achievements found new ways to treat infertility, which is afflicting almost 10 percent of couples worldwide, the report said.
Prof Edwards efforts in the 1950s, 60s and 70s led to the birth of the world's first "test tube baby", Louise Brown, in July 1978. (ANI)