In Japan, a woman underwent IVF and was implanted, seemingly a happy pregnancy. Then, things proved to be terribly wrong. From the story
A Japanese woman was likely impregnated with the fertilized egg of another woman by accident during an in vitro procedure last year, hospital officials said Thursday. The woman, who is in her 20s, aborted the pregnancy when she was told of the potential mix-up at the government-run hospital in Kagawa prefecture, about 330 miles (530 kilometers) southwest of Tokyo. She is now suing the local government for 20 million yen ($222,000), according to news reports.
Hospital officials apologized for the mistake at a news conference Thursday. "She was very happy after undergoing such a difficult procedure and becoming pregnant, but unfortunately a mistake had been made," said Yuzo Matsumoto, director of the Kagawa Prefectural Central Hospital.
This is an example of the hedonism I have been warning against in discussing the coup de culture
. People believe they have the right to obtain whatever they want, however they want it, and then reject it if they are not fully pleased. In this case, the woman wanted a baby. But she was implanted with a baby she did not want so she had it destroyed in utero
. And then she sues.
Another woman may want a baby and use a sister's, or even a stranger's egg in the fertilization process, happy to carry a baby that is not hers biologically, but is in love. But the child's mother is really her aunt, and perhaps even a stranger. We have seen the potential cost of such "novel" arrangements in the desperate yearning of the adopted to find their natural parents.
Another woman has five embryos implanted and three destroyed through "selective reduction," thrilled to have "twins," when she really had two of five quintuplets, and the two living babies will eventually know that they are only in life through the luck of where the abortionist's tools happened to land.
Another want-to-be mother hires a poor woman to be her substitute womb because she has health problems, or doesn't want stretch marks or her career track affected by the pregnancy, and then contractually forces the woman to give up a child she gestated and bonded with for 9 months--potentially impacting the child as well as the birth mother since mother/child bonding begins before birth. Another couple go through IVF, have their embryos tested, and toss out those that might get adult onset cancer, for all we know destroying the person that might have found cancer's cure.
None of us is allowed to comment about any of this because the rules of the modern age tell us we may never moralize about or judge a woman's "reproductive choices." But then another woman upsets that particular applecart by having 8 children, added to 6 she already has, all through IVF. Finally the choice-is-everything crowd gets upset about something
(other than the loathed pro lifers.) But by what right? They have profoundly undermined the power of society to expect people to adhere to reasonable norms.
As for me, I think it is all upsetting, and--yes I will say it--the field increasingly epitomizes a society that thinks we are all entitled to everything we want, regardless of the moral costs in the lives harmed or sacrificed in the obtaining. But wisdom tells us that sometimes we have to live within limits and make do as best we can. That hurts individuals, and we should all be there to empathize and help ease the pain. But it also helps build a healthier society. It is a forgotten lesson that is costing us dearly.