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Family’s wish, doctors’ dilemma

The Boston Globe, July 15, 2010

The young woman spiraled toward death, with no hope for recovery from a crushing heart attack. Doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital delivered the dire prognosis to her family, who chose to disconnect the breathing machine that kept her alive. But a few hours later, they changed their mind. The reason stunned the medical staff: The family wanted to explore whether eggs could be harvested from the woman and frozen so that she could become a mother posthumously. “What they asked us to do made us very uncomfortable,’’ said Dr. David Greer, one of the specialists who treated the woman, “and forced us to think about what is the right thing to do here, what is the ethical thing.’’