Saturday, April 25, 2015

Surrogacy in Nepal: International Surrogacy Disaster

One of the families currently stranded in Nepal with their newborns

Today our thoughts and prayers are with the surrogates, babies and intended parents who have been impacted by the terrible earthquake in Nepal.   There are reports of several Israeli families with premature babies who are trying to get out of the country.   I can only imagine how scared and worried they are as they try to keep their fragile babies safe.

One of the primary reservations I had when people first began touting Nepal as the next location for international surrogacy was the fragility of  infrastructure in the country.  For years experts have been warning about the danger to the area from earthquake,   especially given that in recent years construction has been largely unregulated.   Even prior to the quake, Nepal's medical infrastructure was fragile, not a single hospital in the country was accredited by the International Joint Commission on patient safety.   Now those facilities are overcrowded and running short on emergency supplies, and morgues are running out of space. BIR hospital is reported to be treating people in the streets.

Hours after the quake, the death toll is already above 1500.   However, surviving the initial quake and its  aftershocks is only the first hurdle that must be overcome.   The country is highly dependent on hydroelectric power plants, it's not yet clear what damage they have sustained.  Interruptions to the power grid are not unusual in Katmandu,  so many people and businesses have generators, however, given the significant damage to roads moving fuel to where it is needed is going to be very difficult.

I doubt that fertility clinics are going to be given first priority for allocation of what is likely going to be a scarce commodity.  This could have grave consequences not only for surrogates in housing, but for the thousands of embryos imported there in recent months.  

Cholera is a regular problem in Nepal, one which could easily become epidemic given the difficulty in maintaining clean water and adequate sanitation after a disaster of this magnitude.

When people advertise they are experts at surrogacy in a third world country the implication they are giving to intended parents is that they are prepared for the worst.   Unfortunately, as has been seen repeatedly, many of the so called "experts" are little more than expensive glorified travel agents with little to know understanding of the challenges that may be faced even under the best of conditions.  I have zero faith have the ability to truly help intended parents under conditions like these.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Dr. Rita Bakshi/ Complete Surrogacy Solutions: Ashes to Ashes

GUEST POST by Jennifer Matusiak

I wish I could say I'm happy that Drew and Rhy asked me to write this post. I'm happy that there's some small part of this tragedy that I can take on for them but I don't think anyone could be anything but horrified at the subject.

It's recently come to light that the ashes Bakshi presented to Rhy as belonging to Johnny, ashes for which Bakshi demanded additional payment, may not have been Johnny's at all. In fact, they are, in all likelihood, wood ashes.

I realize this is a bold, and terrifying, statement. The idea that someone could be so heartless as to lie to a grieving mother about the ashes of her child is beyond the comprehension of most of us. So far beyond that I bet some of you reading this will not only question my sanity, but the science.

A lot of things can be debated, but scientific facts aren't one of them.

Fact: After cremation (open-air or electric) the ashes and pieces of bone are pulverized to a fine powder. This occurs both in the United States and in India.

I'm not sure why the authenticity of Johnny's ashes came into question and, ultimately, it doesn't really matter. Upon inspection of the ashes there are, quite obviously, small bits of wood mixed in with the ash.

Fact: In order for wood to be completely turned to ash, it needs to be held at temperatures between 1100-1500 degrees Fahrenheit for 2-4 seconds.

Fact: In order to be reduced to "ash" (with some bits of bone) a human body must be held at temperatures between 1400-1800 degrees Fahrenheit for 2-3 hours. These temps and times are standard for electric cremation chambers.

Knowing these facts, how could Johnny's ashes contain bits of wood (large enough to see with the naked eye) if he was, in fact, cremated in an electric crematory as Bakshi claims?

Answer: They can't.

Aside from the fact that wood isn't used in an electric crematory (so how could it be in Johnny's ashes?) it only takes 2-4 seconds to reduce wood to ash. It would have taken far longer to cremate Johnny's body, as tiny as it was, even accounting for the small overlap in necessary temperatures. So, had there for SOME reason been wood in the chamber, it would have been ashed.

There is no possible way for there to be identifiable pieces of wood in human ashes.

The unfortunate and horrible conclusion I was forced to make and present to Rhy was that the ashes she paid for could not possibly have been Johnny's. They can't be human, even.

THIS is what cremains should look like.

A fine sandy texture as opposed to a powder. This is because cremains aren't ashes, as such. The ashes presented as Johnny's are, quite obviously, just that. Wood ash.

Given the circumstances surrounding the entire issue (which Rhy has discussed previously) my conclusion is that Bakshi disposed of Johnny's body (either in the river, in the trash or “donated” to medical students for dissection) as she saw fit, without asking his parents what they preferred. Then, when they requested some small token of remembrance from their son (a lock of hair, a footprint) she realized her stupidity. After expressing their desire to have their son cremated she likely seized that opportunity to hide her idiocy, presenting ashes from a wood fire to Rhy and claiming they belonged to her son.

Unethical. Deceitful. Reprehensible.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Kim Waters Hendrix and the truth?

No posts yet, but we'll see how this next layer of harassment and abuse unfolds.

For the record, I have zero issue with someone who has a different experience with Kim sharing that.  They have just as much right to be heard as I do.    However, I think it's shady as hell to use a blog name designed to promote confusion and giving the impression that they know the truth about our situation?   Not okay.  Using a fake google profile to conceal your identity?  Not real professional.

Given the amount of our private and personal information, Kim has already shared about us I'm not sure what "truth" she'd like to reveal.   Perhaps she'd like to share the real reason that she and Dr. Bakshi did not use the mortuary that the American Consulate recommended?