The Original Reproductive DilemmaIn Vitro Fertilisation

In 1978 Louise Brown is born at Oldham General hospital as a result of in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment provided by Drs Steptoe and Edwards, heralding the start of the age of the “test tube” baby. By 1999 it had been estimated that 300,000 children had been born worldwide as a result of IVF, bringing huge happiness to the families who previously would have had no hope of conceiving children of their own. Nevertheless, 30 years following Louise Brown’s birth, controversy remains surrounding the use of the technology.
By the end of this tutorial you will be able to:
  • Outline the procedure of IVF in its various forms.
  • Explain the position of the major religious groups with regards to the technology.
  • Outline the legislations governing IVF in the UK, including areas of debate with regards to the technology and associated landmark cases (where relevant).
NOTE: This resource is intended to focus on ethical attitudes and religious beliefs relating to IVF. Because of this we shall not be considering the biological dimension in any significant detail.