Rene Frydman: "We also make a child for ourselves"

Demi-god for infertile couples, devilish scientist for his detractors, the gynecologist -obstetrician René Frydman, who allowed the birth of the first French "baby drug", is the subject of fantasies that exceed it. And that he goes beyond, the peaceful smile, anxious to serve his vision of progress and close on his positions.

Interviewed by Anne Laure Gannac

Psychologies: The revision of the bioethics laws, which aim at framing techniques of medically assisted procreation (PMA), began on February 8th at the National Assembly (This update The day of the 1994 and 2004 laws of bioethics must notably rule on the surrogates, on the research on the embryo and on the anonymity of the sperm and oocyte donors. How do you think this will happen?

René Frydman : All I can say is that, having been heard by the parliamentary committee, I have seen that there are many debates on the issues raised. It's really not decided.

You are among the most liberal ...

R. F. : I do not really know how to define my position. For some, I am completely delayed because I oppose surrogates. Whereas I believe, on the contrary, that it makes me a progressive. Not wanting to authorize anything and everything under the pretext that it can be practiced or practiced elsewhere, it seems to me that it is on the side of progress.

Why not go in the direction of science on this point and go on others? What are your criteria?

A. F. : I see two. First, ask yourself the question of "why". What really motivates this approach? Where is she from? All my life, I wanted to respond to the demands of the weakest. But, in this case, I have never met women asking to carry the children of other women! The request comes only from the other party. The second principle is to refuse the exploitation of others for their own benefit. However, in the case of surrogates, it is a matter of using a woman's body for a single purpose: to have a child genetically self.

Is not this a goal that you serve on a daily basis?

A. F. : To want to have a child is obviously a nice goal. But wanting it to be absolutely self-evident is, in my opinion, much less so. In life, you can not give your own genes to a child. It must be understood that not everything is possible.

It's amazing to hear you say that. When do you decide to let nature go?

A. F. : I am constantly confronted with this question. You know, we talk about "mastering reproduction", but in fact, we really do not control everything. When couples ask me, "Why did not IVF work?", I often tell them I do not know. And if, on the contrary, one came to ask me: "Why did it work?", I would answer, there too: "I do not know!" I have the impression of bringing only the big keys to a painting; the details that make it a work come from elsewhere. The birth of a child is largely a mystery.

Knowing that you are an atheist, what you call the mystery is the unconscious?

A. F. : We can not ignore it, of course. You only have to see what happens: a lot of women have spontaneous pregnancies soon after registering on the waiting list for in vitro fertilization or just before the date of the appointment. I did not study psychology or follow psychoanalysis, because I never felt the need. But I have always been very conscious of the place taken by this dimension in the medical process, and especially in my specialty.

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