IVF pioneer knighted

Professor Robert Edwards, IVF pioneer and Nobel prize winner has been knighted in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

Professor Edwards, 85 worked with gynaecologist the late Sir Patrick Steptoe. Together they perfected the technique that was first used on rabbits. Their work led to the first so-called "test tube baby" Louise Brown, born in 1978.

Her birth then was news around the world. People also forget that at the time IVF treatment also stirred up controversy in some circles, particularly with religious groups. This now almost seems hard to believe, and shows how much the debate has moved on.

To date there have been nearly 4 million babies born using these techniques, and it has become common place.

The irony is that due to financial constraints NHS trusts are currently withdrawing IVF treatment, and so depriving many of the chance to benefit from these medical breakthroughs that happened more than 30 years ago.

Professor Edwards' wife Ruth said, "This honour recognises his years of devotion and dedication to alleviate human infertility despite many setbacks and much opposition."

She went on to say that, "His success in pioneering IVF has brought happiness to millions of people worldwide."

Professor Edwards has himself said previously, "The most important thing in life is having a child. Nothing is more special than a child."

We could not agree more.

Warm congratulations Sir Robert.