U.S. in vitro pioneer dies

October 20, 2006

Mason Andrews, the obstetrician who delivered the first in-vitro baby in the United States, died of pulmonary fibrosis at his home in Norfolk, Va.

Andrews, 87, delivered Elizabeth Carr by Caesarean section Dec. 28, 1981, at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Va., The Washington Post said. Carr was the first of hundreds of thousands of babies born in the United States through in-vitro fertilization.

Carr's birth was preceded by controversy, the Post said. During a hearing on allowing the clinic to perform the procedure, opponents tried to prevent the clinic Andrews co-founded from opening, saying they feared researchers would experiment with embryos. The private clinic wasn't originally going to perform this procedure but did so as other hospitals reliant on federal funds awaited approval, the Post said.

Andrews, who died Oct. 13, is survived by his wife, Sabine; a brother, two daughters and two grandsons.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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