Dovetailing on our last blog and Ian Hull and Nick Esterbauer’s paper on fertility law from an estates perspective, the world lost a great medical pioneer last Friday.

Howard W. Jones, the surgeon who pioneered in vitro fertilization in the U.S., passed away at the age of 104 on July 31, 2015. The work of Dr. Howard Jones and his late wife Dr. Georgeanna Jones led to birth of the first American child as the result of in vitro fertilization in 1981. Dr. Howard Jones was 70 years of age at the time of this groundbreaking triumph.   Since that time the Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine at the Eastern Virginia Medical School has helped bring 4,000 children into the world through in vitro fertilization.

Despite his advanced age, Dr. Howard Jones never fully retired. He maintained office hours at the Institute even after his 100th birthday. Even more incredibly, Dr. Howard Jones published a memoir on in vitro fertilization last year and he was working on a new book of his late wife’s accomplishments as a reproductive endocrinologist at the time of his death.

To date, more than 5 million births have occurred as the result of in vitro fertilization around the world. As reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilization continues to help individuals around the world achieve pregnancies, one can only imagine the various implications that donated sperm/eggs and surrogacies may have on will drafting and the laws of intestacy.

Thanks for reading!

Doreen So