This week, students will be completing a paper to address the following two case studies.
Greg Case Study:
Peggy and Gary had been married for five years, and had been trying to have a child. They had undergone artificial insemination and in vitro fertilization, but each pregnancy had resulted in a miscarriage. Peggy and Gary decide that surrogacy was their best option and placed an advertisement in the local college newspaper.
Josephine, a 21-year-old college student, answered the advertisement. At the time, she was dating a man named Jerry who she loved very much and hoped to marry. But Jerry had recently broken up with Josephine. Hoping to trick Jerry into marrying her, Josephine agreed to be the surrogate for Peggy and Gary. Using Peggy and Gary’s zygote, Josephine underwent in vitro fertilization and became pregnant. During the pregnancy Josephine underwent routine medical examinations, as required by the surrogacy contract. During one of the examinations, a genetic screening test was performed and it was discovered that the child had Down Syndrome. Peggy and Gary did not desire to have a child with Down Syndrome and in accordance with the surrogacy contract paid Josephine to undergo an abortion. In addition, Josephine contacted Jerry, telling him that she was carrying his child. Not wanting to be a husband or father at a young age, Jerry paid Josephine for an abortion as well. He then transferred to another school in a different state.
As a college student who could use the cash, Josephine gladly took the money for the abortion. But because of religious reasons she did not have an abortion and carried the child to term. She never told Peggy, Gary, or Jerry that she delivered a child. Unfortunately, being a single mother and college student was too much for Josephine. At three months, she took the child, whom she called Greg, to the local hospital and surrendered him under the state’s Safe Haven law.
Address the following questions:
Baby Fae Case Study
On October 14, 1984, Baby Fae was born two weeks premature, with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (a condition that at the time was 100 percent fatal). Baby Fae’s mother, Teresa Beauclair, was presented with two options; keep the child in the hospital or take the child home. Teresa opted to take the child home, and was preparing to go through the dying process until Dr. Leonard Bailey presented her with a third option. The highly experimental surgery involved replacing Baby Fae’s heart with that of a baboon. Dr. Bailey had been investigating the possibility of cross-species transplantation and discussed his research with Teresa, gaining her consent to the operation. As you can image, the medical procedure was publicized across the United States and animal rights activists were outraged and protested.
While initially, the operation appeared to be successful, Baby Fae’s organs started to fail, leading to her death 21 days after the transplant surgery was performed. In announcing her death at a press conference, Dr. Bailey stated, “Infants with heart disease yet to be born will someday soon have the opportunity to live, thanks to the courage of this infant and her parents.” One year later, the first human to human heart transplant was performed in a child. Dr. Bailey credits the success, in part, to the information and experience that was gained by performing the xenotransplant (Cross-species) procedure.
Address the following questions:
After the transplant, NBC news released this information:
“NBC News has learned the identity of the child’s parents. We will respect their wishes and not name them. However, certain aspects of their past might be relevant to some of the medical controversies in this case. According to relative and court records, the couple was never married. They had separated by the time the infant was born. Both have had trouble with the law in the state they came from, the father for disorderly conduct, and the mother for passing bad checks. They had little money when the baby was born.”