Recent discussions in my book circles involve harrowing tales, now published as books by former egg donors. Some criticize the fertility industry for its “dirty little secrets.”
Being a book reviewer, this topic was one that — while it did not take me by surprise — it certainly necessitates further research on my part to familiarize myself with various aspects of this increasingly complex issue.
Egg donation is the process by which a woman provides one or several (usually 10-15) eggs (ova, oocytes) for purposes of assisted reproduction or biomedical research. For assisted reproduction purposes, egg donation typically involves the process of invitro fertilization as the eggs are fertilized in the laboratory; more rarely, unfertilized eggs are frozen and stored for later use by the intended parents. Egg donation is part of the process of third party reproduction as part of ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology). The ASRM (American Society of Reproductive Medicine) has issued guidelines for these procedures, and the FDA has a number of guidelines as well. There are boards in countries outside of the US who have the same regulations.
The discussion among my author friends involves emotional, physical, mental and spiritual harm done to women who choose to be egg donors.
In Soul Sale: A Rude Awakening, Americus Dotter does a great job of helping the reader feel some of the pain of psychosis, in a tale weaved from her real life experiences. The book explores the issue from several perspectives. She offers stark implications for bioethics.
Elements of fantasy and reality are weaved to give readers an inside look at one woman’s remarkable journey. And while the darkness is spelled out, the book also offers inspiration for women, in the end.
About Americus Dotter’s book, an amazon reviewer wrote:
I walked into a local bookstore to see an artist book signing. I love to read and thought I don’t do much for myself, I am going to buy this book. I didn’t ask what the book was about and I have never just walked up to an author and purchased a book. I was drawn to this woman it was as though I was following a beacon, like something told me I had to stop, I could not pass up this book or meeting.. I am personally dealing with much more than I can handle at the moment and this book and the authors experiences let me know I am not alone. No I didn’t have the same experiences and do not have the same exact mental issues. However, I have had or do have many of the same thoughts and feelings.
During my tour through the author’s experiences, thoughts, and feelings, I laughed, I cried, I related, and I was motivated to take my own life back to find happiness again.. When this book becomes a movie, if it isn’t to scarey,I would love to see it.
Dotter was an ovum donor for many fertility clinics across the United States including Yale University, and helped many couples achieve their goal of creating a family. Stem cell research and the ethics surrounding it are one of her primary concerns. Her book, Soul Sale, is the raw story of spiritual warfare that she experienced in 2008 following the birth of her own child. It is an example of “quantum psychiatry,” a term that is gaining popularity and support in the psychiatric community. Quantum psychiatry is thought to be where spirituality and science meet to expose unproven realities. In a time where the transhuman agenda is beginning to appear in headlines, the ethics surrounding stem cell research must be discussed and unintended consequences of our knowledge should be examined.
According to reviewers: “Amy Dotter successfully sheds light on these issues in a creative true story not like any ever heard before.”