On February 24, 1982, Amandine became the first French baby to be conceived through in vitro fertilization. This baby, which everyone looks at with emotion, is the result of medical skills. She will learn later when she is old enough to understand. We won’t say to her that she was born in a rose, but in a laboratory.
The teacher Rene Friedmann will have experienced 23 failures before he was able to give birth to this child. He will never have given up. “I felt something [à l’accouchement] what still stands today a little unspeakable. That is, we say to ourselves intellectually: ‘Look, the embryo that I saw in Jacques Testart’s laboratory is the baby that is about to come out of its mother’s womb’”, says Professor René Frydman, obstetrician and gynecologist, one of the world’s leading specialists in reproductive medicine and pioneer of in vitro fertilization and godfather of Amandine.
4 years earlier In vitro fertilization made international headlines. In 1978 the first viable birth of a child conceived by IVF took place in the UK. Her name is Louise Brown, the event reverberates around the world. Parents obviously thank science while the church is offended.
Professor René Frydman and Doctor Jacques Testart continue to work in France. “It’s a team effort which was launched in 1975 after observing failures. That means when the women were infertile, mostly because of the infected, blocked fallopian tubes, we spent hours freeing them and fixing them under the microscope. These were 4-5 hour interventions that yielded little results,” recalls Professor René Frydman at the microphone D day.
The birth was hidden from the media
In 1982 they are almost there, for 5 years they have been working hard for the success of their project. The media also got wind of the work of the two men, who must now redouble their cleverness, wickedness and ingenuity. parents who want to stay Anonymity, to best protect the privacy of their families.
The delivery is therefore made under the strictest secrecy. In order to do this, a scenario worthy of a crime novel blown up to fool paparazzi and overly curious journalists. A fake cesarean A mysterious patient is set a week after Amandine’s mother is due due in a bid to ease media tensions that have become unbearable for Professor Frydman’s teams and family. The scenario set up for protection intimacy birth is a success.
“The extraordinary thing about this adventure was that it was not only of medical interest to women and couples suffering from infertility,” Professor Frydman continues D day. “But it was also because of that“We have touched the foundations of man, We will also immediately have the establishment of the National Ethics Committee, because this is progress that raises questions. What was inviolable has become tangible, what was invisible because our beginning was in the dark, there it was in the light under the microscope,” he describes.
The fierce resistance of the Church
How was this medical achievement accepted by society? “We have to get back into the situation. There were high hopes and high fears.”, sums up Professor René Frydman. “There was resistance in the scientific community, also among our dear colleagues who felt that we had not done enough studies on animals (…), but also the non-medical society, especially the religions, was very doubtful, even against it, ”says the obstetrician-gynecologist.
“The bishops didn’t want that a separation between sexuality and reproduction, hence the fairly logical position: no contraception, no condom, and no in vitro fertilization. And of course I was the complete opposite in terms of conviction and doctor,” he concludes.
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