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When Dreams of Baby Go Up in Flames


a blog by the editors, Mar. 8, 2010

Think about it: How desperate do you have to be to set fire to your own house?

Desperate. Last-resort Desperate.

Ralph Brown, it seems, was last-resort desperate to have a baby.

Brown, a volunteer with the fire department in Bennington, Vermont, is accused of setting fire to his own house on two occasions in order to collect insurance money to get his wife infertility treatment. Firefighters were called to his home on Feb. 26, around noon and again on Feb. 27 around 10:30 p.m. While the first fire was quickly brought under control, the second fire lasted longer and did more damage to the home. Brown has pled not guilty to numerous arson charges.

We read this story this morning and were struck by just how sad it is. Again, we were reminded just how inaccessible fertility treatment is to the average American.

Vermont, like most states, does not require insurance coverage for infertility treatment – currently only 15 of 50 states do.

So what's the lesson? Crime never pays. If medical insurance did however, tragedies like the Brown family’s could be avoided.

Laurie Gordon
Executive Editor

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