Letter from Frank J. Ayd, Jr. to Marshall W. Nirenberg
Ayd requests Nirenberg's views on the topic of when life begins. He suggests that doctors would be interested in Nirenberg's
ideas and that Nirenberg's response would help to make his intended article on the topic more authoritative.
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1 (64,940 Bytes)
1967-11-03 (November 3, 1967)
Ayd, Frank J. Jr
Nirenberg, Marshall W.
[National Heart Institute. Laboratory of Biochemical Genetics]
Reproduced with permission of Frank J. Ayd Jr.
Beyond the Laboratory: Professional, Personal, and Political Life, 1967-2002
I am planning to write an article on "When Does Human Life Begin?" in which I would include the views of world renowned
authorities on this subject. As you well know, there are physicians who hold that human life begins at the moment of conception
and others who say human life does not begin until implantation. What would be your answer to this? I would be indebted
to you, if you would send me your answer with the reasons for it, along with permission to include it as part of my article.
Your reply could be as long as you wish to make it.
I solicit your cooperation because I am convinced that doctors would be interested in what you think is the proper answer
to this timely question.
It is my desire to make this article as authoritative as possible. Enclosed is a partial list of those to whom copies of
this letter is being sent. Since you undoubtedly know other authorities in this field, I appeal to your generosity by asking
you to send me the names and addresses of others whose opinion I should solicit. I am particularly anxious to obtain the
names of authorities outside the United States.
I truly would appreciate your suggestions and your answer to the question, "When Does Human Life Begin?".
Hoping that some day I will have the privilege of meeting you, I am