Thursday, June 19, 2008

What some patients want - fulfilling reprouctive desires

I sometimes get some very unusual requests from prospective parents !

Here's a request I got by email

" I am interested in the following:

  1. Egg donation from a young Caucasian woman (in her 20’s) who is has both intelligence and beautiful with the following physical characteristics:
    1. Caucasian (white) race
    2. Light skin complexion
    3. Light colored hair
    4. Blue eyes
    5. Height: 5 feet 5 inches to 5 feet 8 inches
    6. Slender build
    7. Very attractive (beauty)

This may not be available in India so I have some questions and ask your advice:

    1. If I obtain the egg donor, is it best to bring her to India?
    2. Is it possible for her to donate here in the US and have the cells transported to your facility?
    3. Would freezing be utilized?
    4. What do you advise as the best approach for success?
  1. IVF at your facility using all donated egg cells and my sperm cells making me the genetic father.
  2. Three of the fertilized cell would then be split and re-split to produce 3 sets of up to 6 identical fertilized cells. This is a step seldom used. The purpose is this step is to create the potential for identical twins (3 to 5 identical individuals). All eggs cell might be frozen at this step. But I will discuss and ask for your technical advice.
  3. Surrogate mothers: I wish to have you arrange up to 4 surrogate mothers who will each have 2 to 3 of the fertilized cells implanted (or a number you may recommend). I will look to you for your advice and technical knowledge on the best approach for this aspect.
  4. Prenatal care of the mothers and related medical care at birth. "
Technically, it's possible to do all this, but I am uncomfortable with this request !

Is this a reasonable wish list ? Who is to decide ? Is it something doctors should agree to do ? Are doctors just technicians ? Are there limits to respecting patient autonomy and fulfilling patient's personal desires ? If a patients understands and is willing to pay, when should doctors say No ? And why ?


  1. Anonymous5:54 PM

    Dear Dr. Malpani,

    you posed an interesting question.

    And quiet frankly, I have never seen a request like this.

    I don't even understand why she would want to have 4 surrogate mothers who will each have fertilized cells implanted?

    Do I think it is a reasonable list? No, I don't think so.

    I am sure the lady will find a doctor who won't share my concerns.

    I also posted a comment to your post on my website here:

    Quiet frankly, what comes to my mind is like a bad movie story: a tyrant mom who will raise a group of twins that she will train to become TV stars... gee, I realize though that my fantasy is going overboard here :-)

    All the best,

  2. Anonymous1:52 AM

    I think it is funny. Why didn't this person say they wanted a healthy family history and smoke and drug free qualities to the egg donor? Weird.

    The real questions you are posing are, should a doctor do whatever the patient asks, or should he or she uphold personal moral concepts in deciding to accept a request. I think that everyone, not just doctors, should uphold personal ethics in their jobs. Just like i don't think Walmart pharmacy employees should have to sell the 'abortion pill' if they don't agree with it, doctors shouldn't have to do procedures they do not agree with.


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