Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Unwanted Child

This case disturbs me in the same way that it would disturb much of the community:
  • Should a couple who are unable to have children naturally due to a lifestyle choice be allowed to do so via IVF?
  • Should the birth of a healthy, but unintended child be something for which compensation should be claimed?
  • Should the ACT continue to have medical negligence laws that are out of step with the rest of Australia?
  • Should you be able to sue for relationship stressors which are a normal part of parenting?

What makes me more uneasy is, however, the thought that "There but for the grace of God, go I".

I could be the parent with unexpected twins and a strained relationship and career.

I could be the surgeon who performs or supervises a completely routine procedure while the patient utters something minor, innocuous, or unheard while sedated.

Nobody outside the theatre can profess to know what happened during that procedure, or what the successful conception rates of IVF are now, or whether it is unusual to implant a single or multiple embryos in a mother-to-be who is desperate to have children.

Just imagine - you are about to wheel into the operating room when the patient says "Doc, don't messh up my tatt. Ith really importanth to mee... zzzz..."

The patient is half awake and non compos mentis, there is no way to remove the skin cancer without cutting through the tattoo. You have a signed consent form authorising removal of the lesion. You can't remember whether you discussed the tattoo at the time of consent - but it's hard to believe that you didn't. It's highly likely that the patient won't remember making that comment. Do you cancel the case? Do you proceed?

That may or may not be what happened - but I can imagine it happening to me tomorrow.

I am trying out a new JavaScript function from here. Let me know what you think.

SMH: Lesbian sues over IVF twins (Click to See)

Bris Times: Lesbian IVF case divides community (Click to See)

News.Com.Au: Lesbian IVF case leaves ACT vulnerable (Click to See)

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