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  • Writer's picturePodcast Librarian

Sick: Totally f'ed up fertility doc

The Premise (from Apple Podcasts):

Sick is an investigative podcast about what goes wrong in the places meant to keep us healthy. Award-winning journalists Jake Harper and Lauren Bavis dig deep to share shocking personal stories of medical injustices, and hold accountable the people and institutions meant to care for us.

Series or standalone:


Begin listening to:

50% Different


Investigative reporting


Jake Harper and Lauren Bavis

Sound/production quality:

Very good

Rating/age suitability:

Adult; CW: mentions of/comparison to rape

Approximate length of episodes:

30 minutes

Curricular ties:


Similar recommended pods:

Dr. Death; Bad Batch

Podcast Librarian’s Review:⠀ It’s a complete coincidence that I listened to Sick right after finishing Bad Batch, but there are a lot of similarities. Sick, from PRX and Side Effects Public Media, is a medical investigative crime(-ish) podcast. This inaugural season focuses on a fertility doctor who did some highly unethical (though strangely, not technically illegal) sperm insertions to help couples get pregnant. This is a good time to mention that this podcast features comparisons to rape and discussions of the definition of rape (though the doctor did not rape anyone in the technical, physical sense), so if that’s a trigger for you, best to avoid this one. This is all revealed in the first episode, but the stories that follow highlight the effects of the doctor’s actions, including the fallout for the now-adult children who resulted from these pregnancies. It’s a story that seems almost too unbelievable to be true, but since these “procedures” were done in the 70s and 80s, there were different norms and regulations (or lack thereof). Mail-in DNA kits were a major clue to this discovery, so it makes sense that the story would have only broken a few years ago. The hosts and production are good, as is the pacing of this 8-part series (with episodes right under 30 minutes). This was a quick, if slightly disturbing, binge. Though it’s not as horrifying as Dr. Death, fans of that podcast will likely enjoy Sick, too. I’m excited to hear what’s next in Season 2. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

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