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View Diary: My reproductive wake-up call (197 comments)

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  •  When I was 29, a physician (4.00)
    ...refused to treat me for a life-threatening illness because the chemotherapy would nuke my ovaries.  I explained that I didn't want children, but that didn't matter to him.  His advice to me was to let the disease progress instead.  When my kidneys were in failure, he said, I should come back.  

    No matter that the kidney failure would not be reversible, or that the condition would be more likely to kill me then, and permanently make life difficult if it didn't.  No matter that kidney failure would make pregnancy unlikely too. My ova, unused though they would be either way, were just more important than my own life.  Just the potential life, the theoretical life.  Not the real life, mine.

    I went to another doc and am alive today because of it.  

    Most new drugs are not tested for safety to pregnant women, and many make docs worry about women who MIGHT become pregnant.  Docs don't want liability, so they sometimes withhold treatment. Not all are stupid enough to tell a patient flat-out that her ovaries are more important than her life to him/her. This is another reason why every woman should be worried about laws enacted to control reproductive decision--even if she's not single, fertile, heterosexual, or what have you.  

    "Why, Tom, we're the people that live. They ain't gonna wipe us out. Why, we're the people--we go on." Ma Joad, The Grapes of Wrath

    by rocketito on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 03:26:51 PM PST

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