Tuesday, February 03, 2009
In The News: Too Many Babies!
The births last week of the California octuplets is rapidly becoming old news. I, however, was "away" last week and I do want to talk about it.
At the time the eight infants in question were born, the mother insisted on anonymity, but I think most people just assumed that they were born to a married couple who had been unable to conceive without medical assistance. It was cause for a lot of ooooing and ahhhing. Details are now emerging which completely obviate that initial impression. It seems that the mother is a 33-year-old unmarried woman named Nadya Suleman who already had six children between the ages of 2 and 7. The woman is unmarried (never been married), unemployed, and lives with her parents in a two-bedroom house. And ... she already had 6 children. What doctor in his or her right mind could have believed she had fertility problems?
It's just, and pardon the pun, inconceivable to me that any competent physician would have implanted eight embryos into the woman under those circumstances. Granted, they were her embryos, left over from previous in vitro procedures which resulted in pregnancies, but there were so many red flags, so many moral and ethical considerations which were ignored. The doctor should have known better. According to Nadya Suleman's mother, Nadya has been pathologically obsessed with having children since she was a teenager. She had no desire to marry, but went ahead with the in vitro procedures because she wanted lots of children. Those procedures cost a lot of money. I'd like to know how she, allegedly a "professional student," paid for them. Suleman's mother says she once sought help from a psychologist in dealing with her daughter, whose advice was to order Nadya out of the house. She didn't do that, and now she's the live-in grandmother of 14 children. Apparently, the grandparents filed for bankruptcy not long ago and walked away from the home they owned. Clearly, these are not wealthy people.
Premature multiples often have long-term health problems. One of the older children is autistic. Where is the money going to come from to care for all these children? Somebody is going to have to house, feed, clothe, and educate them and provide them with medical care and all of the other things that growing children need. That "somebody" will no doubt end up being the taxpayers. With a mother so obviously suffering from mental problems, what are the chances that they might even end up in foster care?
This entire reprehensible situation is, in my opinion, a travesty and these innocent children who asked for none of it are going to suffer the consequences. Perhaps the irresponsible (at the very least) doctor who "created" them would be willing to step up to the plate and take care of them. Of course, I'm sure pigs will fly first.