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Carolyn Savage thought the last few months were tough. She’s really in for it now. If you missed the story, the Ohio woman was implanted with the wrong embryo by her fertility clinic back in February. She decided to carry the child to term. Thursday, she gave birth to the baby boy, and turned it over to the genetic parents.

Paul and Shannon Morell, the new parents, call Savage their ‘guardian angel.’ I think she’s a saint. She didn’t have to carry the child. Once she did, it is arguable whether she had any obligation to turn the child over to the genetic parents.

In the upcoming weeks, we may find out how she came to her decisions. She has said that she has a personal opposition to abortion. Or maybe she understood the pain of most couples having to deal with fertility clinics and in vitro fertilization. The London Telegraph reported:

"This was someone else’s child,” she said the day before giving birth. ”We didn’t know who it was, we didn’t know if they didn’t have children or if this was their last chance for a child. We knew if our child was out there, we’d go to the ends of the earth to get our child back.”

Over the following eight months Mrs Savage felt the child growing and kicking inside, knowing all the while he was not hers to keep.

The final paragraphs of the AP report notes that the Savages

… have hired attorneys who say they are
working to make sure the fertility clinic accepts

The response of readers in comments at the end of the Star Tribune story as well as internationally are interesting. The vast majority, almost unanimous, group supports the couple’s efforts to secure compensation from the clinic. But there are is a vocal minority that complain that compensation is unnecessary, that hiring lawyers is wrong, and that "It’s all about greenbacks." I suppose there’s always kooks in every crowd, but if the tort deform cheerleaders can’t agree this saint deserves compensation, there’s just no hope for them.

To say nothing of the folks that will make it a fight about abortion.

Litigation, a media circus, and typical post partum emotions complicated by the loss of the baby.

Saint Carolyn of Ohio is in for a rough ride.


  1. Gravatar for Steve Lombardi

    Joe: Maybe it's too early in the morning or that I haven't yet had coffee, but the possible issues are both fantastic and confounding. My mind is still soaring with the title's impact. What if this child is a saint? Great news item and analysis.

  2. Gravatar for Joe Crumley

    Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, Steve. Mary and I were both struck by the story, having gone through 4 pregnancies and been blessed with 4 kids ... that we got to keep!

    I don't know how you find the time to do all your own blogging, commenting, and still provide such great service to your personal injury and wrongful clients. Does anybody from Bristol sleep more than 4 hours a night?

  3. Gravatar for Steve Lombardi

    Okay, I see St. Carolyn is obviously the mother. What the public needs to ask is how do these things happen? What is going on that allows embryos to be mistakenly implanted? What if both sets of parents didn’t want this child or could not care for this child for whatever reasons? Then what? Who pays to bring it up? Will it be you, I and the rest of the taxpayers? What a mess. Embryos shouldn’t be implanted without a check list being used, sort of like pilots use before takeoff. Like flying there are no forgivable mistakes. We need a doctor to explain how these mistakes are made. It’s as simple as we, the public need to know and requires no further explanation.

  4. Gravatar for Joe Crumley

    Good points, especially the "no forgivable mistakes" point. We're talking about life issues here.

    I guess that explains why the vast majority of commenters were pro-compensation. The comment that included "but this family deserves some compensation" had 100% (28 of 28) positive comments.

    Like airplane crashes, civilians see these cases as deserving of compensation and view them differently than sore necks, slip and fall cases, and more typical medical negligence cases.

    Thanks again, Steve, for reading and commenting!

Comments are closed.

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