Human Reproduction Technology

May 8, 2015 TPC-ADMIN

The talk this month was on Human Reproduction Technology and was given by Dr. Peter Robert Brinsden MBBSMRCSLRCPFRCOG. Peter was appointed Medical Director at Bourn Hall ClinicCambridge in 1989. Since his retirement in 2006 he has been the Consultant Medical Director at Bourn Hall and, among his many other appointments, he is the President of the British Fertility Society.

In 1978, after 12 years of research, Patrick Steptoe and Robert Edwards achieved the birth of Louise Brown – the World’s first test tube (IVF) baby. In the thirty-five years since this momentous event, IVF has become a ‘mainstream’ treatment for many forms of infertility. During this time, however, there have been many developments within the specialty of IVF, or assisted reproduction, many of which at the time were – and some still are – considered to be highly controversial. Peter’s talk was indeed to be both controversial and provocative and allowed members the opportunity to express their views and concerns. “It can be done – should it be done?”

Peter’s presentation provided a brief review of the early days of IVF as pioneered by Steptoe and Edwards (both Fellows ad eundem of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG)) and then looked at some of the most controversial issues that have arisen since 1978. These included such topics as surrogacy, oocyte and embryo donation, intracytoplasmic injection, mitochondrial DNA transfer, treatment of single women and same-sex couples (male and female), cloning, stem cell technology – including the creation of gametes from somatic cells – and other ‘treatments’ which are presently being developed.

The Chairman of Probus, Ray Hurle, thanked Peter on behalf of members for his presentation of this very thought provoking subject.

The subject of the June meeting of the Tavistock Probus Club is “Devon Castles”. Anyone interested in Probus may contact the secretary on 01822 615669.

Anyone interested in joining the Tavistock Probus Club may contact the secretary on 01822 615669.


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