Oh, boy. Another time and post where I set about putting myself out there and quite possibly inserting my foot into my mouth. But at least I'm clear on the risks.
Let's start here: I think harming other lifeforms is not The Thing To Do.
And here's another facet of that whole What Do I Believe About Life gem: I think telling someone else what to do with their life is not The Thing To Do.
And how about this addendum: I believe that reasonable, flexible boundaries are a prerequisite for peace.
You can argue against and around all of the above. But I bet nobody would argue against this one: I think every human wants to feel peace.
What does any of that have to do with the infertility industry? This: In our silly national debates over health care, the apparition of rights -- right to access health care, right to insurance coverage specifics, and accordingly, the right to life -- is wafting through it all like the ever-present, silent mist that nourishes a life-filled rain forest (on a good day).
With any luck, we will all get very wet from the debate process. But who's listening?
Three pieces today -- and just three, but there are more; have been and will be -- that conjured up this morning's philosophical nature in me:
My morning ramble's starting point: The video that's making the community's rounds, Is Infertility Treatment a Right or Privilege?
[insert Big Sigh] How unfortunate that this is a Fox-produced video. I extricated myself from the Hell of TV Watching years ago, so on the occasional glance I take to spy on What Others Are Viewing, I have to remind myself that I wasn't around for the slow, hair-growth-like transformation that TV Watchers underwent in their tolerance levels. After I shake off the unnerving feeling that I'm being yelled at by talking heads, I do my best to watch this drivel with a little bit of calm objectivity. The only good I see coming from such "debates" (how special that the "journalist" is a new RESOLVE Board member! did I hear that right?) is that maybe -- just. maybe. -- thoughts about the bigger picture will be conjured up in a wider swath of minds.
Then, in a media format a little more palatable to my out-of-sync brain, a piece by Liz Zemba on the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's site, Debate swirls around overseas surrogacy
It's a good introduction to what Arthur Caplan calls "a weird version of medical tourism." Weird, indeed. Another term you might use is "nauseating."
My eyebrows first furrowed in paragraph one, where the couple who's started a surrogacy service gave up on adoption "after 22 years of marriage" -- where's the 'why'? On their business website, that's where. The Hui-Wee's cratered under the adoption option because of "too much red tape, too expensive, or too much competition." Their surrogacy journey wasn't a piece of cake, either, but at least they got a baby out of the deal.
On The Telegraph, a review by Jim Endersby of the book "Unnatural: The Heretical Idea of Making People" by Philip Ball
I've always enjoyed using phrases like "making people" (usually "making babies" when I can get away with it) because it brings down to a fine-point all the more euphemistic terms, many of which I generate right here at my laptop, in the field of reproductive medicine.
Endersby's review is the first I've heard of "Unnatural", and it's a positive one. He does finish his coverage by stating plainly, "I found myself persuaded by Ball’s ethical and practical arguments, yet unconvinced that the benefits of making artificial people are sufficient to justify the costs."
Instead of meander on and on about what I think or how I think the dots are connected up there, I'll just rest my fingertips and let the silence do the talking.