Monday, February 02, 2009

Octuplets & Ethics –when is enough enough?

A woman not far from where I live recently gave birth to octuplets—8 babies. Of course, this wasn’t a natural incident (it never is) but, rather, it was the result of fertilization treatment—artificial insemination. No one loves babies more than me, but I find this situation extremely troubling for many reasons—not the least of which is that the woman already has 6 babies (the oldest being only 7-years-old).

Not only does the woman now have 14 babies (6 + 8 = 14), but she isn’t married. And she lives with her parents—who just happen to have claimed bankruptcy, and who are exhausted. The parent's home has only three bedrooms. All the children this woman has ever conceived were through fertilization treatment. Isn't that pushing natural limits and playing God? Tragic--especially since there are so many children needing homes!

The woman’s mother said that her daughter just loves children. So? Many people love children (me, for one). So, why not work at a Daycare? Or foster needy kids? Why jeopardize the lives of the six precious children she already had before tampering with nature to satisfy some kind of need? Babies should not be brought into this world to satisfy our need. (More on this in my parenting book, Heaven Help Me Raise These Children!).

What troubles me is why didn’t anyone ever look into the woman’s background? Did the doctors involved in her insemination know she already had 6 children and no husband? Shame on them if they didn’t know. And greater shame if they knew and still proceeded.

In most cases of artificial fertilization or insemination, 3 or 4 eggs maximum are implanted. Rarely do all of them “take.” Still, they might, so that’s why the count is limited. In this case, 8 were planted. And 8 took. The age limit to receive such treatment is 35. This woman is 33. Seems like borders were pushed to the limit and the old philosophy “ignorance is bliss” reigned over reason.

Ignorance ain’t bliss folks. No way. Knowledge—combined with a sense of ethics—might have saved a lot of hardship. (I pray these children won’t face hardship, but realistically . . .).

Read an article on this subject here. (I added this article link in on Feb.12th -- since it adds more details than when I first wrote this post.)

I wonder what will happen to those precious 14 babies now? I wonder who’ll feed them, bathe them, hug them, help them with their homework, challenge them to make wise choices in life . . . I wonder if they’ll be kept together or if some will end up in foster homes. Precious, innocent lives.

Let’s pray for this woman and her babies—and the grandparents who have now landed so much more than they expected—that God’s will be done for all. Let’s pray also that the medical field wakes up to ethics and reason and stops playing “god” because of their greed for money.

Janey L. DeMeo M.A.
Copyright © February 2009

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