What's more, I don't think Allyn's "Federation ban" explanation would have worked dramatically - the reader would just be constantly wiating for Dr. Ree to ignore the stupid rule in the sake of saving Troi. In retrospect, maybe David didn't make it "techobabbly" enough, since why she can't carry the fetus to term isn't the point.
I suppose that Star Trek
conditions us to expect our characters to violate rules and regulations willy-nilly, because they're the heroes butting heads with a hidebound bureaucracy. We see them do this repeatedly, they get their wrists slapped, and the next week, the incident is forgotten.
Despite all the medical technobabble I threw out pages and pages ago about mitochrondria and intestinal DNA, the fetus Deanna Troi is carrying in Gods of Night
is not viable
. The idea I tossed out -- that a ovum could be built from scratch using DNA from two sources, one that's not Deanna's -- is a workable future
solution. Even if Ree suggested my idea -- and there are sound medical ethics reasons why he cannot -- it's not a solution to save the fetus. And Deanna, unless she's hellbent on a suicidal course of action, will
have to abort the fetus.
We could debate the ethics of the Federation's ban on genetic engineering until we're blue in the face. The fact remains, there is
a ban in place, as we know from Julian Bashir. (And as we've seen in the literature, there are others, like Elizabeth Lense, who have gotten caught up in the effects of that ban.)
Ree would have to violate his oaths as a medical doctor to even suggest
that path of genetically rebuilding an ovum. He would be putting his career in jeopardy. And worse, by putting his career in jeopardy, he's putting the health and safety of the crew of the Titan
at risk. Spock said it best -- "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few."
Yes, a word or two from Ree could have given Riker and Troi hope. But it would also have set them -- and him -- down a path they don't want to go. It would endanger their careers and their liberties. There is
a reason for rules. And there is
a reason to follow them.