Saturday, April 22, 2006

Outsourcing Insanity?

It was about a year ago that CBS' news magazine program "60 Minutes" shared with us the good news that first class medical treatment for people in need or coronary bypass surgery was now available at a discount rate, halfway around the world in India and a few other Asian nations.

Immediately the jokes started forming --- horrible jokes.

And then I started getting angry. Had the Legal/Medical Consortium finally done it? Had the litigious blood suckers finally made it too expensive for Americans to get decent and needed surgery and driven health care out of the country??? Apparently the answer was a big fat YES because the story was not only about bypass surgeries, but also transplants (heart, liver, kidney, etc). There was also a booming business in elective plastic surgery!

Betty Joe Six-Pack could not afford to visit the offices of Dr. Steven Hoefflin in Beverly Hills, but she could take three weeks and visit Dr. Rajeev Gupta in Madras and get a face lift, a tummy tuck, and still have two weeks of recovery on the beach in a first class hotel... AND it all would be cheaper than just the tummy tuck would cost her back in the states. And these were not cheesy, back alley clinics you see in old movies, but beautiful, well-appointed hospitals staffed with American-educated doctors. The triple bypass you'd spend 150k to get in NYC or LA... $15,000.

Well it did not take long for someone to make turn this into an even more bizarre situation. Someone figured out that American women would not just like to have their facelifts in India at a cut-rate price, but they would also like to use Indian women to be their surrogates for childbearing. And really, why not? Just send an egg and some swimmers to India... they get implanted in woman who will be paid to "host" your future offspring for a bargain basement rate of $5000.00 (compared to $50,000 plus medical bills here in the States).

And so it's easy now... Instead of spending $50,000 (plus medical bills) for an American surrogate to carry your seed... you outsource your birth to India and pay an Indian woman $5000 to host your offspring. What's next? Price negotiation with the nation most needing money? What if China starts a "brood mare" business for $2500 a child?

Is it really a good idea to outsource your procreation?


Can there really be an attachment to a child who spent 9 months inside someone else... who was just doing it for a career?

I gotta go lie down.


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