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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index S > Patrick Steptoe Quotes

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Patrick Steptoe
(9 Jun 1913 - 21 Mar 1988)

British scientist and medical researcher who with Robert Edwards, perfected in-vitro fertilization of the human egg. He delivered the world's first test-tube baby, Louise Brown on 25 Jul 1978.

Science Quotes by Patrick Steptoe (2 quotes)

I'm not a wizard or a Frankenstein tampering with Nature. We are not creating life. We have merely done what many people try to do in all kinds of medicine—to help nature. We found nature could not put an egg and sperm together, so we did it. We do not see anything immoral in doing that in the interests of the mother. I cannot see anything immoral in trying to help the patient’s problem.
— Patrick Steptoe
As quoted by thr Associated Press after the birth of Louise Brown, the first baby born by in vitro fertilization. Reprinted in, for example,'First test-tube baby born in England', Toledo Blade (27 Jul 1978), 1. As reported, the first sentence was given in its own quote marks, followed by “Dr. Steptoe said,” so the quote may not have been delivered as a single statement.
Science quotes on:  |  Create (245)  |  Do (1905)  |  Doing (277)  |  Egg (71)  |  Fertilization (15)  |  Frankenstein (3)  |  Help (116)  |  Immoral (5)  |  Immorality (7)  |  In Vitro (3)  |  Interest (416)  |  Kind (564)  |  Life (1870)  |  Medicine (392)  |  Merely (315)  |  Mother (116)  |  Nature (2017)  |  Patient (209)  |  People (1031)  |  Problem (731)  |  See (1094)  |  Sperm (7)  |  Tamper (7)  |  Tampering (3)  |  Together (392)  |  Try (296)  |  Trying (144)  |  Wizard (4)

It [an ethical problem with in vitro fertilization] depends on whether you're talking ethics from the standpoint of some religious denomination or from just truly religious people. The Jewish or Catholic faiths, for example, have their own rules. But just religious people, who will make very devoted parents, have no problem with in vitro fertilization.
— Patrick Steptoe
From address to the annual meeeting of the American Fertility Society in San Francisco (5 Feb 1979), as quoted in a UPI news article, reprinted in, for example, 'Steptoe Discusses Test Tube Ethics', The Milwaukee Journal (6 Feb 1979), 5. As reported, each sentence was separated in its own quote marks, separated by “Dr. Patrick Steptoe said” and “he said,” so the quote may not have been delivered as a single statement.
Science quotes on:  |  Catholic (18)  |  Denomination (6)  |  Depend (238)  |  Devoted (59)  |  Ethic (39)  |  Ethical (34)  |  Ethics (53)  |  Faith (209)  |  Fertilization (15)  |  In Vitro (3)  |  Jewish (15)  |  Parent (80)  |  People (1031)  |  Problem (731)  |  Religious (134)  |  Rule (307)  |  Standpoint (28)  |  Talking (76)  |  Test Tube Baby (2)  |  Truly (118)  |  Will (2350)

See also:
  • 9 Jun - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Steptoe's birth.
  • The New Fertility: A Guide to Modern Medical Treatment..., by Graham H. Barker and Patrick Steptoe. - book suggestion.

Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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