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The Infertility Debate

The controversy over Nadya Suleman, the California woman who gave birth to octuplets following infertility treatment, is stirring debate in eastern Carolina.

Stephanie Sumner and her husband Casey just happened to be going through the same treatment in Greenville while the news of Suleman broke. After three years of trying many different infertility drugs they decided to do a procedure called in-vitro. She had two embryos implanted in her uterus.

Stephanie Sumner says of the Suleman situation, "I didn't know if it was a blessing or a curse. Everybody's situation is different, everybody's body is different. I really want a family, my husband wants a family, I'm not willing to put myself in jeopardy or unborn children just to have a family, so hearing the story is a totally different situation than what we've been in."

Dr. Clifford Hayslip of ECU Women's Physicians Clinic in Greenville is the Sumner's doctor. He believes the Suleman case will change things for his profession. "I think that there's going to be a public debate. I'll be surprised if this doesn't go past California state board. I could even see this going to Congress."

Doctor Hayslip says the average amount of embryos he puts in a woman 24-33 is two. He bases how many he puts in on the patients age and how well a person has responded to other procedures. Doctor Hayslip says the guidelines he follows are those recommended by the American Medical Board.

Stephanie and her husband say the doctor and patient both share in the responsibility. Stephanie says, "It's your responsibility to know what your body can handle, it's the doctors responsibility to keep you safe."


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