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87 — Medical Technology & Ethics w Jennifer Lahl
Episode 8716th September 2022 • Gender: A Wider Lens Podcast • Stella O'Malley & Sasha Ayad
00:00:00 01:07:15

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Jennifer Lahl is the founder and

president of The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network. She has 25

years of experience as a pediatric critical care nurse, hospital

administrator, and senior-level nursing manager, and more recently,

she’s also become a successful filmmaker. In 2010, she made her

writing, producing, and directing debut producing the documentary

film

Eggsploitation,

which has been awarded Best Documentary by the California Independent

Film Festival and has sold in more than 30 countries. She is also the

Director, Executive Producer, and co-writer of Anonymous

Father’s

Day

(2011), a documentary film exploring the stories of women and men who

were created by anonymous sperm donation. In 2014 she completed three

films on the ethics of third-party reproduction, aka surrogacy, with

a trilogy called: Breeders:

A

Subclass

of

Women?.

In July 2015, she released a documentary short called

Maggie's

Story,

which follows one woman’s egg donation journey. Lahl’s next

feature film, #BigFertility

was released in the fall of 2018.

And of course, we were particularly

interested in Jennifer’s films that focus on gender medicine. Trans

Mission:

What’s

the

Rush

to

Reassign

Gender?

was released in June of 2021. Her forthcoming film, The

Detransition

Diaries:

Saving

Our

Sisters,

is set to release this Fall, in 2022.



In our discussion with Jennifer, she

puts forward her theories about what she calls a “superhighway”

that confidently shuttles people towards risky medical interventions;

this happens, according to Jennifer, both in the realm of fertility

and gender. Fertility is an area that Stella and I know very little

about so it was interesting to hear Jennifer share her experiences as

a nurse and filmmaker who’s been following this topic very closely.

She holds some very strong, but thought-provoking views on the

medicalization of fertility that some are sure to find controversial.

Ultimately, Jennifer’s biggest concern is that any patient, whether

they are pursuing interventions in either fertility or gender

medicine, should be fully informed about the risks involved, and the

outcomes. She also highlights that sometimes a lack of evidence

underlies the model of informed consent. This poses the question: how

can you consent to something if we have very little or no evidence

about it? We explored the parallels that Jennifer has observed in

these two areas of medicine, both, incidentally, with serious ethical

considerations around fertility and reproduction. We highly encourage

you to check out both of the films she’s made on gender, which we

also talk extensively about in this discussion. So here is our

conversation with Jennifer Lahl.



Links & Resources:





  • Center for Bioethics and Culture
  • Network:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiBR4XvsCicbopYFciVxGrg





  • Trans Mission: What’s the Rush
  • to Reassign Gender:

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt14868196/





  • Detransition Diaries: Saving our
  • Sisters:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVhUoiXGWx8




  • Bill Joy Article: “Why the
  • Future Doesn’t Need Us”:

https://www.wired.com/2000/04/joy-2/





  • Our Father Film:

https://www.netflix.com/title/81227735





  • FDA puts warning label on puberty
  • blockers:

https://www.dailysignal.com/2022/07/28/fda-slaps-warning-on-puberty-blockers/




Extended Notes





  • Most of Jennifer’s nursing
  • career was based in pediatrics.

  • Pediatric people are always
  • educating people.

  • In the U.S., there are over one
  • million frozen embryos.

  • Big fertility makes a lot of
  • embryos because it has a high failure rate.

  • Profit is a motive for finding
  • cures in the U.S.

  • In the recent past, women were
  • treated as guinea pigs by fertility doctors.

  • In her movie Eggsploitation,
  • Jennifer spotlights young women who were endangered by fertility
  • doctors.

  • Jennifer made a movie while she
  • had a manuscript on the table because people no longer read.

  • The patient experience has shifted
  • during Jennifer’s tenure in medicine.

  • Ethics classes are not required
  • for medical students.

  • Parental authority is being
  • undermined by the current establishment.

  • Jennifer says California is close
  • to becoming a sanctuary state where gender-questioning teens can go
  • to get cross-sex hormones and surgery.

  • Jennifer shares the fertility
  • preservation information that may impact gender medicine.

  • The CDC publishes an annual report
  • on all the fertility clinics in the U.S.

  • Assisted reproductive technology
  • is too new to understand the full impacts on children born from it.

  • Egg donors are given drugs to put
  • them into a medically introduced menopause.

  • The American Society of
  • Reproductive Medicine offers guidelines to women without proper
  • research or testing.

  • Jennifer stresses the importance
  • of holistically treating children.



This podcast is sponsored by ReIME and

Genspect. Visit https://rethinkime.org/

and https://genspect.org/

to learn more.



For more about our show:

https://linktr.ee/WiderLensPod.

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