Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Consent forms - lots of them

In preparation for tomorrow's appointment, we got all the paperwork out and had another look through it. We're still so torn over whether to go ahead with IVF. The physical side is daunting (for Mrs T - my bit's pretty easy!) and the emotional side is just so vast that we can hardly get our heads around it.

Are we playing with nature? Are we trying to play God? Why do we want children? Do we want children? What happened to our faith? Mine is still strong (I think) but Mrs T's is very shaky. As we discussed things tonight she admitted she doesn't know where her faith is anymore. The things she believes (or perhaps believed) about life and death, heaven and hell, good and evil, God or no God, haven't helped her cope with a series of tragedies (other things have been going on that are no longer recorded on this blog), and so now they're just clouding the issues.

Among the paperwork there was a series of consent forms we both had to fill in. I was all for not signing them until we'd talked it all through at the hospital tomorrow, but we did so. I guess we can always not hand them over. Let's have a look at what we've just signed:

  • consent for the IVF department to share information about our treatment with other medical personnel;
  • confirmation that we do not want medical students to be present at any point;
  • consent to the treatment itself;
  • an understanding that we would become the legal mother and father of any children resulting from the treatment;
  • our decision as to whether any cells, fluids, immature eggs, unfertilised eggs, or fertilised eggs may be used for research purposes (we said no to all options);
  • declarations of our current health and medical conditions;
  • a disclaimer confirming that the hospital is not responsible for any of our valuables while we're in there (yes, really); and
  • consent for the cryogenic storage of my sperm, Mrs T's eggs, and any fertilised embryos for up to ten years or until Mrs T's death if sooner. (I said they could keep them after my death. Mrs T thought it unlikely that she'd want to try to use them if I was gone, but I figured she might as well keep her options open.)
Quite a lot to think about, really.

One of Mrs T's concerns is purely practical: if we decide not to go through with it now, will we miss out on our one opportunity to have it funded by the NHS? Our consultant assured us that we could put it off if we wanted, but I'm wondering whether we may have taken it a bit too far (in signing up to consultation) for that.

If there's anyone out there reading this who is the praying type, please do pray for us tomorrow afternoon. The appointment is 3pm (UK time!). If you're not the praying type, then at least keep us in your thoughts, which may - or may not - amount to pretty much the same thing.

1 comment:

Carrie P said...

Hi. I'll keep you both in my thoughts. My husband and I had a consultation this morning with a fertility doctor - we're not as far down the road as you and Mrs T, but if we end up with a referral for IVF, it'll be to the Hammersmith. Best of luck this afternoon.