23 Years Ago in TIME

More than two decades ago, women who had trouble conceiving were given a boost when Lesley Brown gave birth to the first TEST-TUBE BABY, in Oldham (pop. 227,000), England. The advance launched a debate over its ethical and biological implications.

Is in vitro fertilization to be applauded as a humanizing technique, allowing some infertile couples the joy of procreation? Or is it dehumanizing, a step that is to be condemned because it puts the moment of creation outside the body into a mechanical environment? To some thinkers, the Oldham experiment poses no problems. Says Rabbi Seymour Siegel, professor of ethics at...

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