Malicious Medicine: My Experience with Fraud and Falsehood in Infertility Clinics (Tr. from Malayalam), Anitha Jayadevan, Penguin Books, Pp 105 (PB), Rs 150.00
IN this cautionary report for couples seeking assisted reproductive technology (ART), the author presents a heartrending account of a young woman desperately seeking to be a mother.
Married on Uthruam Day when all of Nature rejoices, little could have Anitha imagined the twists and turns her life would take at the infertility clinic. After a year of happy married life, Anitha Jayadevan becomes anxious and impatient that by now she should have conceived. Spurred by family, friend and her own sense of inadequacy and desire to have a child of her own flesh and blood, she decides to seek the help of medical science. From here begins her tortuous journey through eight long harrowing years of her life, where words like endometriosis, spermatogenesis, varicoccle, IUI and Beta HCG become part of her vocabulary and visits to infertility clinics, blood tests and scanning in the name of ART become part of her everyday existence.
The book written in a very simple and lucid language portrays not just the ordeal and Anitha’s psychological trauma that she went through, but addresses larger questions about the sanctity of life and place of ethics that separate the medical profession from assembly line production. Anitha’s fight is not against medical science, she only pleads for institution of a code of laws to regulate the use of ART in India, so that others are spared the anguish, betrayal and pain that she suffered. —MG
(Penguin Books India Pvt Ltd, 11, Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi—110 017; www.penguinbooksindia.com)