TOKYO – Health officials in Japan say a woman was likely impregnated with the fertilized egg of another woman by accident during an in vitro procedure last year.
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 530 kilometres southwest of Tokyo. She is now suing the local government for the equivalent of US$222,000, according to news reports.
She can use the money she wins in a settlement to try again. (The phrases “viciously calculating” and “in control of her reproductive rights” spring to mind.)
Patricia wonders: Andrea, where do you find these stories?
I’m puzzled at to why she feels she is entitled to $220,000. The “mistake” has been “erased”. Is she entitled to $220,000 as compensation for pain and suffering experienced as a result of having an abortion? That would make an interesting legal precedent, wouldn’t it?
Or is she entitled to $220,000 because she wasn’t in fact carrying the baby she thought she was and that has resulted in shattered hopes, grief and loss. But if that’s the case, then she has to admit that she was definitely carrying a baby and it wasn’t just a “mistake” she aborted.
Rebecca adds: Am I the only one wondering about the parents of the aborted baby? Did the clinic know who the biological parents were? Were they notified? One can only assume that, having gone through the process of IVF to the point that they have a fertilized egg ready for implantation, they dearly wanted a baby. What must it be like to be them – presumably struggling with infertility, with a baby that is genetically theirs having been successfully transplanted and then aborted?
I can’t condemn people who try anything possible to have a child. But the more invasive and artificial the technologies involved become, the more opportunities there seem to be for things to go horribly wrong.by