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Who Gets the Baby?
By Noah Evslin, Medical Researcher
In Episode 417, "A Step Too Far", Pete is treating Lorraine Kipnes, whose cancer recently went into remission, when her very pregnant sister Claudine Miller starts to complain of abdominal pain.
Claudine is at the clinic helping Lorraine with her cancer treatments. In addition, she's also acting as a surrogate for her sister who couldn't get pregnant because of her illness. Unbeknownst to Lorraine, Claudine is also having an affair with Elliot, Lorraine's husband.
Lorraine accidentally learns about their affair, but before it can be properly addressed, Claudine is rushed into the OR for an emergency C-section.
During the procedure, Claudine's uterine wall is lacerated. This causes her blood pressure to drop and she also begins to hemorrhage. Addison saves the baby, but has to do an emergency hysterectomy to stop the bleeding.
The hysterectomy makes it impossible for Claudine to have another child, and suddenly a debate ensues over who has the right to this new infant. Is it Lorraine, the woman who so desperately wanted a baby, she asked her sister to carry one on her behalf? Is it Claudine? Despite promising she'd give up the child at birth, it's her egg that created the baby and she also carried the infant to term. Is it Elliot's baby, as it was his sperm used during the IVF process?
Caught in this conundrum, Lorraine swears she'll fight for the child. Elliot claims they're going to take the baby and there's nothing Lorraine can do about it. Meanwhile, Claudine turns to Addison for advice.
Even though Addison knows that Claudine could legally keep the baby because she's the biological mother of the child, she insists that Claudine can have Elliot or she can have the baby, but she can't have both.
Was Addison correct in giving this advice?
What would YOU do?