Human Exceptionalism

The Dangers of Egg Donation: Being on the “Supply End of the Equation”

Hit this link to view a video presentation is by Calla Papademus, a young Stanford student who donated her eggs for a fertility treatment and suffered some serious health consequences. From an earlier story about her ordeal:

For eight weeks last fall, Calla Papademas, a 22-year-old Stanford graduate, slipped in and out of a coma in the intensive care unit at Stanford Hospital while her mother, Nancy, kept vigil…Months earlier, Calla had answered just such an ad, eventually agreeing to donate her eggs for a fee of $15,000. Now she was lying in a hospital bed, fighting for her life.
Calla had an extraordinarily rare reaction to Lupron, a synthetic hormone administered to prepare her body for egg donation. [Me: This is an off label use, the dangers of which I have commented on before.] A few days after Calla began the drug regimen, a benign, undetected tumor on her pituitary gland–which Calla’s doctors believe was stimulated by the Lupron–grew at a furious rate and ultimately ruptured, causing a massive stroke. Calla suffered brain damage and lasting weakness on her left side. Her academic and career plans were derailed, and she and her family incurred $100,000in uninsured medical bills.

Papademus is now on permanent hormone replacement therapy and will have extreme difficulty having children. Think about her–and the women who have suffered even worse problems, including death–when “the scientists” urge women to give them their eggs for cloning research or push for an egg market: They aren’t the ones who could potentially suffer the consequences.

Key quote from the video:

“Now I have had very up close personal experience watching myself as the supply end of this whole equation and to be treated as if I don’t matter unless I perform and supply, which I didn’t.”

This too is an example of the instrumentalization of human life that is a growing problem in our increasingly I-I/Me-Me society.

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