(4-25) Updated list of octuplet posts
January 30, 2009
Are there any?
There are the well past menopausal woman in their late fifties and sixties giving birth to children they will mostly likely not be able to see get married or even graduate from high school. Children they know will grow up caring for them. Having the child for your daughter who is unable to conceive is one thing – having a child because it can be done is another.
The California mother who just gave birth to octuplets was on fertility treatment.
How is infertility defined?
Why does a mother of 6 children need fertility treatments of any sort and how many times had she already had it? For all of the pregnancies? From 6 to 14 children in five minutes. 8 premature infants: 9 1/2 weeks early, ranging from 1 pound 8 ounces to 3 pounds 4 ounces and six older children: 7, 6, 5, 3 and 2 y/o twins.
What type of mother does this to her children?
What kind of grandmother allows this, when she is already caring for her daughter and her 6 grandchildren within her home?
What type of OB doctor is allowing this to continue?
Who is paying for all of their medical care? And in the years to come?
The odds are very high that one or more of those children – if they survive – will have medical conditions requiring lifelong care.
Did she think about that when she selfishly had those 8 embryos implanted in her womb? She said she “never expected that the fertility treatment she received would result in eight more babies”.
What was she expecting? And why is she getting fertility treatment in the first place? She clearly needs psychiatric evaluation and the fertility doctor needs to be investigated so that this never happens again.
This is wrong on many levels. She has a set of twins, which is highly suspicious of previous fertility treatment. If not – they were certainly predictive of future multiple births.
Dr. RICHARD PAULSON, director of the fertility program at USC Medical School:
We do not ever intend to give someone octuplets. . . . Apparently the mother made the decision to carry all eight babies to viability.
It is intended if the possibility exists. What kind of doctor implants 8 embryos at once into a clearly functioning womb knowing full well that the mother is not going to selectively terminate any of them and that she already has six children under 7 at home?
Where exactly was the procedure performed and who payed for it?
DR JEFFREY STEINBERG, medical director of Fertility Institutes, which has clinics in LA, LV & NYC.
Who am I to say that six is the limit. There are people who like to have big families.
And what about the children?
There is not a child alive who wants to be one of 14 children. I can personally attest that being at the bottom half of a double digit family one does not get much individual attention. Much, much worse – the older children are charged with the responsibility of watching and raising their younger siblings instead of being allowed to be children themselves.
It is not their job. They didn’t ask for it. And when it is done through artificial means it goes beyond irresponsible to reprehensible.
Imagine the every day forevermore responsibilities that will be heaped on that 7 y/o. What type of mother does that willingly to her child? Who was that mother thinking about? Certainly not the children she already had.
What attention were they already not getting while she was on bed rest?
DR JAMES GRIFO, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the NYU School of Medicine:
I don’t think it’s our job to tell them how many babies they’re allowed to have. I am not a policeman for reproduction in the United States. My role is to educate patients.
He’s not a policeman – but he took an oath to first do no harm and there has been irreparable harm done to those six children that will continue the entirety of their lives and will affect how they treat their own – if they have any. Children who grow up in double digit homes do not have their own double digit families. They know how wrong it is to each child.
And what exactly does his “education” entail? How-to classes on how to raise 14 children under 7? How to pay for therapy? How to spread your love between 14 children — 8 of whom are premature and will require 24 hour care and who knows what type of future special needs care.
This story is troubling on many levels.
Why does the mother not want to be identified? Why did she “show up” already pregnant? Why did the grandmother allow her daughter to receive fertility treatments in the first place? How many of the other children were products of fertility treatment? What kind of doctor provided the treatment and where was it done? The guidelines state that only 2 embryos should be implanted in a woman under 35 – she is 33.
DR MICHEAL TUCKER, a leading clinical embryologist based in Atlanta:
In my opinion, if a medical practitioner had anything to do with it, there’s some degree of inappropriate medical therapy there.
DR R. DALE MCCLURE, president of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, said in a statement Friday that the organization has been working to reduce the number of high-order multiple births resulting from in vitro fertilization treatments.
If this resulted from an IVF treatment, we can say that transferring eight embryos in an IVF cycle is well beyond our guidelines.
DR SCOTT SLAYDEN of Reproductive Biology Associates in Atlanta, Georgia:
It would be extremely unusual, very strange and hard to believe that somebody who is a professional would put that many embryos into a woman who is 33 years old who has children.
ROBERT GEORGE, professor at Princeton University and member of the U.S. President’s Council on Bioethics.
What you need are professional norms and legal regulations that restrict practices that are inherently very dangerous.
M. SARA ROSENTHAL, bioethicist at the University of Kentucky’s College of Medicine.
If she went to a fertility clinic, there’s wide consensus from every single ethicist and fertility specialist that this was irresponsible and unethical to implant that many embryos.
This is an outrageous situation that should not happen.
ARTHUR CAPLAN, University of Pennsylvania bioethicist:
Anyone who transfers eight embryos should be arrested for malpractice.
As should the grandmother who allowed it – sanctioned it. And her daughter’s sperm donor/ husband/husbands/father (s) of the babies?
ANGELA SULEMAN, grandmother of octuplets, who knew exactly what was going on, with the understatement of the cosmos: “It’s going to be difficult.”
Here’s a gimpse:
- 14 children without a father in the home.
- A mother with no source of income or maternal judgment.
- A grandmother unequipped to handle her daughter, let alone 14 children under 7.
- Around the clock feedings and whatever other medical treatments needed for the 8 premature infants.
- 350 diaper changes a week.
- Shuttling back and forth to school, shopping and the hospital. 7, 6, 5, 3 and twin 2 y/os needing to be fed, bathed, educated, entertained and loved. The younger 3 or 4 needing to be potty trained. None of them able to care for themselves.
How many minutes of individual attention will they get? Have they been getting?
And who is going to finance all this? Has been financing it?
The grandmother is just as responsible – irresponsible – and should be held accountable. Fertility treatment was not intended for a 33 y/o mother with six children no matter her means.
It is time for there to be strict ethical guidelines placed on fertility treatments – especially the donation of embryos to another family. There are already cases of adopted siblings unknowingly getting involved in a relationship, including marriage and children – even after they are made aware. It’s not considered “incest” anymore – it’s been gentrified to Genetic Sexual Attraction. No matter what they name it – it is against the laws of nature.
It is one thing to be given up after you were born.
What is it like to realize you were given up as an embryo? An embryo compiled in a laboratory? And what is it like for siblings to run across another family of “stranger” genetically related siblings?
And the pregnant man who had a bilateral mastectomy but not gender reassignment surgery who got pregnant via internet-bought sperm and a pet shop syringe? He’s pregnant again. How confused are those children going to be? And how disturbing was it for the doctors to deliver a baby from a genital region consisting of a vagina and birth canal and a hypertrophied clitoris the size of a penis?
(1-30) Octuplets: Ethics of fertility treatment?
(1-30) Octuplets: What is really going on?
(3-28) Octuplets: Nadya’s immoral enabler – Dr Michael Kamrava
(3-28) Octuplets: ASRM guidelines for embryo implantation
(3-28) Octuplets: Child-rearing ability reason for MD to refuse?
(4-25) Octuplets: Radio discussion of fertility treatment guidelines