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Canberra Lesbian couple lose out on IVF Compo Case

By captainwhorebags 24 July 2008 80

The RiotACT previously covered the case of a Canberra Lesbian couple who were suing their IVF specialist because they had asked for one child, yet received two. The case centred around the couple alleging that the doctor acted against their wishes and implanted two embryos, which apparently is standard practice for IVF. The couple, who have not been named, were seeking damages equal to the costs of raising the second child and also cited the loss of freedom and “suffering” for being lumbered with two children instead of one.

News.com.au reports that the ACT Supreme Court has ruled in favour of Dr Armellin, ordering the couple to pay all legal costs. The defence lawyer argued that the loss of freedom was experienced by all parents and was a normal part of parenthood.

The couple have 28 days to lodge an appeal.

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Canberra Lesbian couple lose out on IVF Compo Case
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s-s-a 10:12 pm 26 Jul 08

So most people would not want to waste an embryo on the day by suddenly changing their mind

You don’t waste the extra one. The embryologist leaves it in the culture medium (kept at constant temperature), draws up the single one for transfer and then prepares the other one for freezing (along with any other suitable “left-overs”).

pelican 9:33 pm 26 Jul 08

According to the evidence this couple was given a choice of one or two embryos – they chose two. End of story.

Surprised this ever found its way into Court but it is nice to see commonsense won out the day in a Canberra Court.

gimmeth 7:46 pm 26 Jul 08

I am also pleased with the finding as I have legal and ethical issues with wrongful life claims anyway and especially as they relate to a healthy infant (define the harm for the tort claim) and twins are a possible outcome from any pregnancy etc etc. I also consider the parent’s sexualty to be irrelevant. BUT – this whole thing couldn’t have happened to a more deserving doctor: my niece was stillborn because of his arrogance and mismanagement. Sucks to be him.

Jamie Wheeler 6:27 pm 26 Jul 08

Sucked in to the lesbians and congratulations Dr Armellin. Talk about opportunism wanting compo money to send the unwanted twin to a private Steiner school in Melbourne. I’m suprised they didn’t go for more money to take to extra kid skiing in Switzerland each year. Being stuck with their own bills and the Doctor’s legal bills instead of getting a cent is definately what they deserve.

I-filed 4:12 pm 26 Jul 08

So glad they lost. I hope their children pay them out bigtime over this in good time. And glad they are paying the doctor’s costs. What sort of dropkicks complain about bearing healthy children when such a high proportion of IVF patients fail … I look forward to a column from Virginia Hausseger on this topic – I’d like to know her thoughts.

sepi 2:18 pm 26 Jul 08

I’ve just been reading the judgement.

The couple were supposed to contact the fertility centre the day prior to the procedure to confirm how many embryos. They failed to do this. If having only one transferred was so important to them, why not follow the procedures of calling to confirm.

They then spoke to various staff and nurses on the morning of the procedure, and said nothing to them about wanting only one embryo. The woman waited til she was lying on the table and her partner was out of the room to mention this to the dr. The dr just rushes in to do the embryo transfer – the embryos would have been already waiting in a single tube to be transferred.

There is only a 60 second window to transfer the embryos before they start to deteriorate. I just can’t understand why the patient would wait til the very last second to express this wish, if it was of such ultimate importance to her.

Granny 2:08 pm 26 Jul 08

I think labeling somebody’s life as ‘wrongful’ is emotionally abusive. If a child is conceived by assault, call it assault – not ‘wrongful life’.

sepi 1:43 pm 26 Jul 08

Nevertheless, they were foolish to leave their decision on how many embryos to transfer right up to the day of the procedure.

The ivf process to actually grow the extra eggs inside the woman and harvest them is not pleasant, and takes months. Not to mention it is expensive.

So most people would not want to waste an embryo on the day bu suddenly changing their mind.

This pair should have decided what they wanted to do (transfer one embryo or two), and then signed their names to their decision and stuck to it.

I’ve always thought it was wierd that in the weeks prior to the procedure they were happy to have two embryos, but after two had been transferred the trauma of twins totally ruined their lives.

If their life plan was to only ever have one child and live happily ever after in Paris, then why did they ever sign a consent for for two embryos?

s-s-a 10:25 am 26 Jul 08

They have 28 days to appeal and the judge has extended the suppression order on their names for 30 days to encompass this.

Reading further in the last few days, it appears possible that if they had sued the IVF clinic then they might have won!? Anyway the judgment is now online

http://www.courts.act.gov.au/supreme/judgments/armellin.htm

I’ve had four embryo transfers (with no sedation) at a different clinic where the patient (and partner) are shown the embryo/s under a microscope before transfer. Before the transfer, the patient’s identity and embryo identity is confirmed by an embryologist and a nurse, the consent paperwork for number to be transferred is shown to the patient and doctor, and if a change to the original number consented to is required then the patient MUST sign for it at the time.

Headbonius 9:46 am 26 Jul 08

God, I hope Armellin’s legal fees are fcuken huge!

PigsFly 11:23 pm 25 Jul 08

Yes, a hypothetical but nevertheless a fact of life if everyone made the same decision as you. 🙂

But anyway, back on topic, has there been any word as to whether the couple in question have decided to appeal as yet? I realise they have 28 days to think about it but thought that if they really truly thought they were so very much done wrong by then there might have been something in the media by now. Personally I think they’d be mad to, but that’s just my opinion.

Someone_else 11:00 pm 25 Jul 08

PigsFly said :

But it’s the truth isn’t it? Can’t rely deny that can you? As I said, if EVERYONE did what you had decided to do (or rather not to do), then the human race would indeed die out. FACT OF LIFE! 🙂

But then I guess maybe you’re devoting your life to furthering the science of cloning instead so we can bypass the whole “having babies” process. LOL.

Yes it’s true that if EVERYONE stopped breeding there would be no more humans, but it’s certainly not the way things are and we all know it. You are talking hypotheticals, so actually it’s not a FACT OF LIFE at this point in time. Let me know when the population drops below a few million, then I’ll start to worry with you.

And second “point” (I don’t really know what to call it) is just…gah.

PigsFly 10:53 pm 25 Jul 08

That’s such a typical breeder “bingo” argument.

But it’s the truth isn’t it? Can’t rely deny that can you? As I said, if EVERYONE did what you had decided to do (or rather not to do), then the human race would indeed die out. FACT OF LIFE! 🙂

But then I guess maybe you’re devoting your life to furthering the science of cloning instead so we can bypass the whole “having babies” process. LOL.

toriness 10:49 pm 25 Jul 08

my handle bears no resemblance whatsoever to my real name if that’s what you mean.

peter@home 10:46 pm 25 Jul 08

toriness said :

i’m amazed at your amazement. because shock horror maelinar, same sex couples are humans too – if you want to be that simple about it. we have all the same feelings and desires as straight couples do except for one thing, that we are gay not straight!

is your name two names joined, or just an extension of your name?

your views and belief system is remarkably familiar to me.

Someone_else 10:46 pm 25 Jul 08

Overheard said :

???!!! Any other parents here say any such thing? Not I!

Another thread, obviously you missed it.

Someone_else 10:44 pm 25 Jul 08

PigsFly said :

Of course if everyone did what you’re doing (not having kids) then that would be the end of the human race. I’d like to think that I’m doing my bit to help keep it in existance, albeit a very small contribution. Perhaps I’m assuming too much in thinking that you really don’t care what happens after you’ve gone. 🙂

That’s such a typical breeder “bingo” argument. The human race is in no danger of dying out any time soon and you know it. And just because I am not leaving behind a little replica of myself, that does not mean that I don’t contribute anything. Would you criticise the childless doctor who saves your child’s life, because he/she has chosen to dedicate their lives to a fulfilling and worthwhile career rather than simply breeding then dying?

toriness 10:29 pm 25 Jul 08

i’m amazed at your amazement. because shock horror maelinar, same sex couples are humans too – if you want to be that simple about it. we have all the same feelings and desires as straight couples do except for one thing, that we are gay not straight!

sepi 10:24 pm 25 Jul 08

Yep – and if we don’t have wings we shouldn’t fly…..

BT – I agree, my position all along.

Humanity, for all its negative points, needs a male and a female to procreate. Such a simplistic view of the world is actually more indepth than you first realise – often the most complex things are indeed quite simple when understood to the fullest extent (E=MC2 rings a bell).

I’m not arguing that 2F or 2M partnerships cannot be great parents – I’m sure they can be. Somewhere along the line they’ve circumvented natural selection to do so however, which makes them liars right from word go. I’m continually amazed at how much like hetero couples, homo couples want to live.

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