Happy Birthday Louise Joy Brown, First IVF Baby
Louise Brown celebrated her 36th birthday on Friday, July 25, 2014. Her full name is Louise Joy Brown, although now she is married to Wesley Mullinder.
I’ve written before about Louise. She is, after all, the first in vitro fertilization (IVF) baby in the world. First test tube baby. You can read about it on Pathtofertility, on other blog dates to learn more about the first IVF baby in the news. Her parents led the way, as did her doctors, to a course of fertility treatment that has enabled over five million babies to come into the world.
Louise Brown went on to have her own children, with no need for medical assistance and certainly not needing IVF. Infertility, in her case, was not genetic. I wonder about the big sigh of relief from her parents when they discovered that Louise would not need the help that they did. Perhaps they would have just continued to be grateful that IVF was there for Louise had she needed it. How grateful the rest of the world is that IVF exists.
IVF Pregnancy Success
There’s always a first and for IVF pregnancy success stories, Louise Joy Brown is it.
We celebrate her birthday and her parents and her doctors. While everything might not have been perfect every step of the way, they took the brave steps none the less. In fact, it might be very well true that if we looked at the procedures and information available now, we would be aghast at the protocols followed and not followed with Louise’s conception.
I’m pretty sure that’s called Monday morning quarterbacking. It’s important to remember that there was no example to follow. No how to manual. That’s what they were creating together. Looking back is a great way to learn though. Informed consent was not delivered to Louise’s parents the way that it would be in a responsible and ethical IVF fertility program today. First time, there was no role model to follow. That’s what the combination of doctors and patients created. The first, perhaps not perfect, model of how to perform IVF on a woman who had no other way of becoming pregnant.
Flawed consent, flawed protocols or not, the medical team was impeccable as proved by their ivf pregnancy success, the birth of a healthy child. We applaud them for their willingness to create a practice that has been refined, discussed and labored over ever since, in the quest of making fertility treatment the most effective and ethical it can be.
Happy birthday to Louise Brown. First IVF baby in the world. We’re glad that you’re here.
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