A Miracle of Modern Medicine
Stephen Page recently delivered a paper to the Monash University Ethics and Law in Embryology. He said “I was honoured to again lecture Monash University embryology students. My paper is set out below.”
As Judge Clare SC said about a child in 2012:
“LCH is a long awaited and precious gift, much loved by his family and a miracle of modern medicine. When his biological parents were unable to conceive naturally, his aunt grew and nurtured LCH in her body for them.”
Or as put in 2020 by another judge:
“Rarely, if ever, are the Courts of the land asked to make orders pursuant to an application that is described, as it is in the submissions that are before me, as a “good news story.” This is one of those rare and wonderful occasions.”
I have had the honour and privilege of visiting IVF clinics on four continents:
I am struck, at times, by the attitudes of laboratory staff who consider their jobs to be mundane and monotonous.
To those of us who are not embryologists, can I merely say that what you do, as her Honour put it, is to create miracles. What you do is magical. It is simply extraordinary that an egg can be extracted safely, then inspected under powerful microscopes, then trimmed and then fertilised (whether through standard IVF or through ICSI) and then when the embryo has been determined to have reached the right level of cell division, either 3 or 5 days, then carefully frozen or transferred.
It is even more miraculous in my view that once the embryo is removed out of the liquid nitrogen in which it has sat for however many months, it is then, through an extraordinarily complex process, properly thawed and hatched until it is ready to be implanted in the cervix of a woman so that she can become pregnant, either for herself or someone else.