Sherry Shepherd’s Surrogate Mom Forced to Pay Child Support? Another Surrogate Mess

Sherry Shepherd

Sometimes a woman marries the wrong man. And then things become more complicated because there are children involved. This man that you should have never married is now looking for a big pay day. However, please do not allow innocent children and babies to suffer because of a highly contentious divorce and certainly do no drag the surrogate mother into your mess.

Surrogate parenting (aka Gestational Carriers) is tricky. A woman is hired to have a baby for a couple with the expectation that the couple will pay her and take responsibility for their child. She is screened very carefully to make sure that she’s healthy enough to carry a pregnancy and that there is mutual agreement with the intended parents. It is a gift not to be abused. It seems that is not the case regarding Sherri Shepherd, former co-host of the popular show, The View.

Shepherd’s estranged husband, Larry Sally, is seeking child support from Shepherd and rejected her original offer of $150,000. He has full custody of their son, who was born on August 5, and applied for Medicaid in California. The State of California is now seeking child support from the surrogate mother whose name is listed on the birth certificate. Shepherd has allegedly not seen the baby since his birth.

In surrogate arrangements, both intended parents and surrogate mom are supposed to have psychological testing prior to the arrangement. It’s uncertain whether this has occurred in the Shepherd-Sally case. Based on what has occurred, it would be prudent for the California Child Protective Services Department to intervene in this case. Someone at needs to protect the rights of the baby. Someone also needs to have an adult conversation with both Shepherd and Sally about parental responsibility. The surrogate mother SHOULD not be dragged into the middle of this dispute.

Agree or disagree? Please share your thoughts.

An Open Letter of Apology to Melissa Rivers

Joan Rivers

Dear Melissa,

I owe you an apology on behalf of my irresponsible medical colleagues who let their shallow ego cloud their clinical judgment and ultimate killed your mother.

I took the death of your mother personally because we were both born in Brooklyn and that connection alone creates a bond that transcends cultural, economic and social differences. Joan Rivers was a Brooklyn girl and on that solitary principal, she was loved and revered.

Dr. Gwen Korovin, the specialist who performed the fatal procedure did not have privileges to operate in the t clinic, yet jumped ahead of the staff and began to operate which caused a cascade of mistakes. She had to stop the procedure at least once because she couldn’t see as reported by the staff during the State investigation. The wrong amount of anesthesia was given. A biopsy was done without her permission

The New York State investigation of your mom’s medical fiasco only brings to light what happens on a daily basis. As I type this letter, medical negligence is occurring. Somewhere an office, clinic or hospital is understaffed and therefore not equipped to handle an unforeseen emergency; or someone did not check the equipment because they were distracted; or, an important lab report was missed because of lack of follow-up or; someone is not following medical protocol or standard of care.

Melissa , you have every right to be angry. Physicians like Korovin make all of us look bad although most of us don’t have medical practices on prime New York City real estate or celebrity patients.

As a physician who has been committed to patient safety for years longer than I care to admit, let’s take this tragedy and turn it into a victory. Let’s establish a Joan Rivers Patient Safety Awareness Act that will educate the public on red flags to be aware of before they have medical procedures. If we do this in honor of your mom, maybe she can finally rest in peace.


Brain Dead and Pregnant: A Moral Dilemma

Courtesy of

Courtesy of

The contradictions of life can be maddening. On one hand, we have the case of Jahi McMath, a 13-yearold girl who is brain dead on a mechanical ventilator that her family fought to maintain and on the other hand, there is Marlise Munoz, a 33 year-old mother of a 15 month old son, who collapsed on her kitchen floor from what appeared to be a blood clot to the lungs back in November. Munoz, according to her husband and family, never wanted to be on life support but the state of Texas ordered it when they discovered that she was 14-weeks pregnant. Should state law override the wishes of a patient because of her pregnancy?

The family of Munoz is concerned and angry about the state of Texas’s decision for a number of reasons. Munoz was without oxygen for over an hour before her husband found her on the floor which meant that the fetus was without oxygen as well. Medical experts believe this could cause serious problems for the unborn baby. Munoz’s father describes his daughter has having “rubbery arms that feel like a mannequin” which makes it difficult for him to visit her in the hospital. Munoz was very early in her second trimester (14 weeks), remote from delivering a baby, yet forced to be, as her father states, “a host for the fetus.” Who will have the ultimate responsibility of raising the child once the physicians intervene and deliver it via C. Section?

When John Peter Smith Hospital was confronted regarding their decision, they emphatically state that they are merely following the rule of law; however some medical ethics experts disagree and state that the hospital is misinterpreting the law. According to the New York Times, at least 31 states have adopted restrictive laws prohibiting physicians for ending life support for “terminally-ill pregnant women regardless of the patient’s wishes or her family’s.”

Should a brain dead pregnant woman lose her rights under the United States Constitution in order for the benefit of her unborn baby? I’d love to know what you think.