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Rosemary has battled with severe health problems for many years. She has Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and, following complications of spinal surgery, she is now a full time wheelchair user and her is impaired. She receives her nutrition via a tube fed directly into her blood stream and she empties her bowels into a bag attached to the small intestine.She has always wanted a child and now, aged 36 and in the early stages of a relationship, she asks for assisted conception.The fertility doctor refers Rosemary on to various specialists at the hospital, who enumerate the risks. If Rosemary is to have IVF, she'll need a general anaesthetic which would be extremely risky for her. Furthermore, any pregnancy could be life threatening to Rosemary and a potential fetus, and the team are concerned about the welfare of a future child. Also, if Rosemary becomes pregnant, her child could inherit Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome as the condition is genetic.While hospitals look after women with complex problems who are already pregnant, enabling a woman like Rosemary to become pregnant is an ethical challenge of a different order. But Rosemary herself is adamant she wants to take the risk, whatever the potential consequences.Should the fertility team help Rosemary get pregnant?Joan Bakewell and a panel of guests discuss this ethical issue.
Metadata describing this Open University audio programme
Series: Inside the ethics committee; Series 9
Episode 1
First transmission date: 2013-08-08
Original broadcast channel: BBC Radio 4
Published: 2013
Rights Statement: Rights owned or controlled by The Open University
Restrictions on use: This material can be used in accordance with The Open University conditions of use. A link to the conditions can be found at the bottom of all OU Digital Archive web pages.
Duration: 00:43:00
Note: Radio 4 version
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Producer: Beth Eastwood
Presenter: Joan Bakewell
Contributors: Joan Bakewell; Deborah Bowman; Alison Murdoch; Kaliya Franklin
Publisher: BBC Open University
Production number: PEI32001351
Available to public: no