Medical Controversies: Melissa

Medical Controversies: Melissa
Dr. Phil talks to a woman who wants to be choose the sex of her next child.
"I have been married for five years and we have two sons. I love having sons, but I desperately, desperately want a daughter," says Melissa. She's ready to undergo a gender selection technique to choose the sex of her next baby.

Her husband, Jason, supports her decision. "Having a girl just brings a balance that only a little girl can," he says. "Having a
girl would fill a big part of Melissa's life that she doesn't have."

Growing up, Melissa was a "girlie girl" who loved playing dress-up and taking ballet and tap lessons. Now as a ballet teacher, she says, "I feel as if with some of my students, I've done everything except give birth to them. I would love to have that same kind of relationship with my own little girl."

Michelle acknowledges that her decision might present an ethical and moral dilemma. "Some people do see it as playing God. Certain people have told me that if it's meant to be, it will be," she says.

Turning to Dr. Phil, she asks, "I've always wanted a baby girl, but people think I'm tampering with nature. What should I do?"
"You said you thought it was unfair for people to say that to you, that you're tampering with Mother Nature. You didn't like hearing that," Dr. Phil points out to Melissa.

She agrees. "No, because I think that modern medicine in itself is tampering with Mother Nature. There's treatments for everything. If I was to get cancer, does that mean I'm just supposed to die from cancer?" she asks. "The selection technique that we are looking into is not making and destroying babies. It merely puts the odds in your favor."

Dr. Phil explains that gender selection is essentially a sperm sorting technique using a fluorescent dye. "It works at a pretty high rate," he points out.

Melissa would undergo artificial insemination for the gender selection technique. The odds of conceiving are 16 percent, but if she does get pregnant that way, the gender selection will give her a 91 percent chancing of having a girl."You say that medicine is just tampering with Mother Nature anyway. So what's the problem? What are you here for?" Dr. Phil asks.

"I am wanting to know if there is going to be some potential harm to my family. Obviously, my first and foremost priority is my sons that I have and my family as a whole," she replies, adding that her grandmother thinks gender selection is wrong.

Dr. Phil asks, "What do you think?"

"I think if done under the appropriate circumstances, it's OK,"
she answers.

Dr. Phil reiterates, "So what are you doing here?"

Melissa explains her moral dilemma. "The rest of America, I feel like, doesn't think that it's OK."

"Well, they're not going to raise your baby," Dr. Phil quips. "You have to get past the moral dilemma ... My opinion is I am a total chicken about this. I don't want the responsibility of choosing the sex of a child I'm going to have. I just have the feeling that there's a plan and if I'm supposed to have a little girl, I will have a little girl," he says, as the audience applauds.
Turning to Jason in the audience, he asks, "You're obviously OK with it, Dad, right?

"I'm quite alright with it," he replies.

When Melissa points out that the audience seems to be against her decision, Dr. Phil says in amazement, "Are any of these people going home with you?"

Dr. Phil gives Melissa the results of a poll on DrPhil.com asking if parents should be allowed to choose the sex of their unborn child. Nearly 1,500 viewers responded, with 83 percent saying no. Dr. Phil polls the audience with the same question, and a majority of hands are raised saying no. "An awful lot of people think you shouldn't be doing that. I would not do it if it was me, but you guys are not concerned about that, the technology is available ... I think you just have to decide you're going to listen to yourself and your heart, or you're going to let 'they' influence you."

When he asks Melissa what she's going to do, she responds, "I still don't know."

Dr. Phil asks Jason the same question, and he responds, "It's a distinct possibility that we will go forward with a medical technique to help us choose."