The evil secret society in this book is keeping women as vegetables (she terms them human incubators) so they can use the women's wombs as incubators for their genetically modified kids. This is horrifying enough, but when you look at it more carefully, the way the 'good guys' react is even more horrifying:
- When Kat and Amy find the human incubators, they can see the women have received brain surgery of some form, but they have absolutely no way of knowing if their unresponsive state results from that, as opposed to, say, being kept under continuous heavy sedation. Kat jumps to the conclusion that these women are vegetables while knowing absolutely nothing about their medical state apart from what she can see in a brief glance. So, for all she knows, she's just abandoned a bunch of sedated-but-otherwise-mostly-fine women.
- Later, we hear from one of the Guild operatives how the human incubators are actually created. They perform a corpus callosotomy (which causes the bizarre but mild split-brain syndrome, where the two hemispheres operate independently) and then implant electrodes to cause constant seizure activity in both hemispheres, preventing them from functioning. Which means that their vegetative state is completely reversible - if you simply removed the electrodes surgically, the women would wake up with split-brain syndrome and probably epilepsy (induced seizures train the brain to have seizures) but with their functions otherwise intact. And if they had ever actually gotten a neurosurgeon to examine one of these human incubators, the doctor would have realized this almost immediately.