Wednesday 11th August 2010
One year ago.
GENERAL INFORMATION CONSENT FORM – ASSISTED REPRODUCTIVE TECHNOLOGY (ART) PROCEDURES
F. Consent to Use Culture Media Containing Human Serum Albumin
22. Like they said before, they’ve got to discover new things at some time, and in some place. That place might be in albumin.
For whatever reason, they buy their albumin from America. If it was up to us, we’d use Australian or European Albumin, cause the Yanks pay people to donate blood. But it ain’t our choice.
So, like before, blah, blah, blah, we can’t get angry, we can’t blame them for shit that hasn’t yet been discovered.
G. Transport of Eggs/Sperm/Embryos between Monash IVF Centres
23. Even though I’m not allowed to take my sperm home, they can take move it to Queensland if their fridge breaks down. No questions asked.
24. And if they crash the car, we won’t get angry. They’ll scoop what they can off the road.
H. Pregnancy Follow-up
25. They already know I’m not a criminal, but from time to time, they might want to ring up to see that my kid isn’t too. And they’ll ask about his weigh and stuff at the same time.
26. If my embryos end up in QLD, and Suse goes there to get pregnant, they’ll keep everyone in the loop about it. They might even tell me.
27. They are welcome to talk to my GP, even though I don’t have one.
28. They’ll probably call every now and then, under the guise of research, to see how much sleep we’re getting with a newborn.
29. It’s really important that we understand that they are real tight arses about who they tell about what’s going on. They won’t let the cleaners know.
But, on the upside, both Suse and I can find out about the results. We’re both allowed to know shit.
That is, unless Suse signs something to say I’m not allowed to know. If this happens, they might lock me up in a dungeon to stop me from finding out. But probably not.
But no one can stop our health insurance. Sign whatever you like, nothing will stop them. They’ll know results before Fleischer will.
J. Provision of Data to External Bodies
30. Our files might be audited by RTAC, HREC, NATA, VARTA and NHMRC. If you say them all in a row, it sounds like you’re farting. But don’t laugh. These are the dudes who check shit to stop us from getting Brian’s baby.
31. They frown very heavily on Brian.
32. He causes them many headaches.
K. Options for Embryo’s following Divorce or Separation:
33. If Suse and I get divorced, we must tell the following:
- Our friends and family,
- Our divorce lawyers,
- The IVF police.
Divorce is ugly. And they will make it worse, by making us sit in a room together and talking.
While we’re there, we have to agree on what to do with all the bits in the freezer.
And we’re not even allowed to throw eggs at each other.
34. If we disagree, the one who wants to keep the stuff in storage wins. The other one is allowed to walk off in a huff.
L. Options for Embyro/s following the Death or Incapacity of Both Partners or a Single Woman
35. If we both die, the embryos are destroyed.
36. If we are both simultaneously mentally incapacitated, brain dead, or permanently stuck on a ventilator, that would really suck. They’ll keep the embryos in Howard’s storage for five years, in case either of us miraculously snaps out of a persistent vegetative stage. It will be our doctor who judges whether we are still a vegetable or not.
Guess I’d better get one then.
M. Death or Incapacity of one of us
37. If I die, then I can choose if I want to let Suse use the embryos.
If she dies, she can choose whether she lets me use them.
38. For Suse it’s simpler, because she has a womb. I would have to hire one.
39. If this happens, then that would suck. In Queensland, we’d just need some counselling to agree that it sucks, and written consent from our dead partner. Which we’d hopefully attained at some point before the event.
40. In Victoria, the Department of Human Services also has to agree. Presumably, that means that because we’re in Melbourne and not Brisbane, if I die, and despite our wishes, DHS might deny Suse this right.
41. They suck, and we agree.
42. Below is a legal document titled the ‘Advance Directive’. In it, I agree that, should a cataclysmic event forsake me, that I let my wife have our child. And she says the same for me. It must be true love.
a) Death or incapacity of the woman undergoing assisted reproductive treatment:
I, Susan, reckon that if I die, that it would really suck.
I, Susan, reckon that if I become a vegetable, that this would be even worse.
But if that happens, I hereby let my husband, Mark, rent a womb and have our kid.
b) Death or incapacity of the man undergoing assisted reproductive treatment
I, Mark, know that if I die, then that’s not a good thing.
I, Mark, know that if I become a vegetable, I’d be really pissed, if I could still think.
But if that happens, I hereby let my wife, Susan, use her own womb to have our kid.
And I really love her.
43. They can look at our data, and they can ring us for future research studies if they want. Given that we couldn’t have a kid without them, it’s pretty stingy to say no. But if I’m a cold-hearted bastard, then I can take all your hard work and use it, and give nothing in return.
44. I hereby consent to them using my leftovers for science:
Yes – I’m a reasonable human being.
No – I like cake, and I eat it too, thank you very much.
45. This is the bit about ‘surplus biological material’. That means: sperm, blood, follicular fluid, testicular tissue, eggs which have failed to fertilise, and arrested embryos.
One can only imagine what they would arrest our embryos for, but given that we need a police check and agreement from DHS if one of us dies, it could be anything, really. Maybe Suse’s embryos have an unpaid parking fine that we don’t yet know about.
* * * * *
There was heaps of shit above:
A. What we do,
B. What can go wrong,
C. What can go right,
D. What we hope happens with the embryos,
E. Where we put them, before they go back in my wife’s vagina,
F. How albumin is bad,
G. When we take them for a joyride to QLD,
H. How we ring you to tell you,
I. That means both of you,
J. And the regulatory bodies that sound like a fart that keep Brian’s babies to a minimum,
K. How to get divorced,
L. How to kill your partner,
M. What to do once your partner is dead,
N. The paperwork your partner signed saying it’s okay that you killed them,
O. And finally, that we’ll research your killing methods.
46. Just for the record, someone sat us down and freaked us out about this with spoken words, not just these written ones. She was called a counsellor.
47. We’re so shocked, that we don’t know what to ask first.
48. But I already wrote my name below, so now I’m totally fucked.
Good luck, sucker.
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