Sunday, August 3, 2014

Brave New World...

... and definitely a head-scratcher for an Ethics Committee:

Making the rounds on FB, an Australian couple sought to have a Thai woman make their babies for them. First question - is it right to exploit poor women's wombs in this fashion? I have just started Paul Farmer's "Pathologies of Power" and only at the introduction -- this strikes me as exactly wrong-- because of gross inequality and what's termed structural violence the 'choice' by the Thai or any poor woman to earn money is limited. And in the whole of Australia-- they couldn't find anyone- then could this be a morally incorrect thing to do ?

Turns out of the eggs that were fertilized and successfully implanted, fraternal twins resulted-- one boy and one girl.  Apparently in the contract's fine-print, the surrogate signs to agree to an abortion on request - again-- is this right that another person/s decide on what happens to a  socially-disadvantaged person's body?  At the 4 month check, it was discovered that the boy baby had Down's syndrome and the Aussie parents requested an abortion -- how wonderful is medical science to be able to kill one child in the womb and not affect the other? I strangely have no problem with parents choosing to abort a fetus if they think they would not have the time and money to spend on the child when born-- however at 4 months, I feel it borders on cruelty to abort a viable fetus in addition to making the procedure more dangerous for the mother/person carrying the child - apparently at such a late stage it involves, for a single child- the docs cut up pieces including crushing the skull and pulling through a dilated cervix... I am guessing in this case they would inject some poisonous substance to kill off the 'bad' fetus  but wondering how it would not affect his sister?  (Clamp the placenta, then inject something poisonous then cut,crush and extract?)  Anyhow apart from the medical mystery, the Thai woman refused. On delivering the twins, the parents swooped in and carried off the girl! The boy was detected to have problems with his heart.  Should they be liable for his upkeep and subsequent medical bills as one presumes the Thai woman is pretty poor?

Also, this all has seemingly happened under the radar of the Thai and Aussi officials. Is this right?

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