It is both a cautionary report for couples seeking ART and a moving memoir of a young woman desperately seeking to be a mother. Anita Nair in the Foreword Married at twenty-three, Anitha Jayadevan was anxious and impatient when a year passed by and she had not conceived. Spurred by family, friends and her own sense of inadequacy and desire to have a child of her own flesh and blood, she decided to seek the help of medical science. In Malicious Medicine she recounts the story of the next eight harrowing years of her life, where words like endometriosis, spermatogenesis, varicocele, IUI and Beta HCG became part of her vocabulary, and visits to infertility clinics, blood tests and scanning in the name of assisted reproductive technology (ART) became part of her everyday existence. The treatment was painful, invasive and expensive, and the medical practitioners more often than not were callous, inefficient and unfeeling. The result was a twin pregnancy after seven long years. But the joy was short-lived as she lost both the foetuses and in the bargain nearly her life. Then, as the final act of betrayal, she discovered that all she had been was a surrogate mother. But Malicious Medicine is not just about the physical ordeal and the psychological trauma Anitha went through. It asks larger questions about the sanctity of life and the importance of ethics that separate the medical profession from an assembly line production. Anitha s fight is not against medical science. Instead, she pleads for the institution of a code of laws to regulate the use of ART in India so that others are spared her anguish, betrayal and pain.
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