Archive for the ‘obstetrics and gynecology’ Category

Octuplets spark debate on medical, socio-economic, & moral issues of assisted pregnancies

January 31, 2009

The birth of 8 babies to an unmarried California woman who already have 6 children and lives with her parents sparked controversies which cover medical, social, economic, moral and rearing issues. The unusual multiple births by caesarian section of octuplets by 33-year old Nadya Suleman didn’t come without the help of fertility treatments. This is according to Angela Suleman, the 31 week-old babies’ grandmother who said her daughter, the mother has been “obssessed” of having children. In spite of having delivered babies in the past, she chose in-vitro fertilization because of clogged fallopian tubes.

In-vitro fertilization (IVF) usually involves implanting fertilized embryo (blastocyst stage,) normally no greater than six, usually 2 or 3 in the womb. If more than two embryos take, the patient is given the choice by her physician to keep the babies or kill some of them in an abortion-induced reduction procedure. Many doctors focus on giving the best medical care and they feel it’s not their duty to dig on abortion issues (rights of the unborn) or prescribe how many children their patients must have. Suleman opted to keep all babies whose number was erroneously determined by ultrasound as 7.

Certain religious believers and anti-abortion advocates decry the practice of pregnancy reduction by doctors. Although Suleman rejected the offer to have any of her babies aborted after they were artificially set to develop in utero, there are strong objections on the medical and ethical judgment of implanting the 8 embryos on her who already have six children. There are those who believe the fertility doctor must be investigated and sanctioned for a breach of standard practice.

In 30 years of practice, “I have never provided fertility treatment to a woman with six children,” or ever heard of a similar case, said Dr. David Adamson, former president of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine and director of Fertility Physicians of Northern California.—Yahoo.News/ AP (01/31/09 Watkins, T; Neergaard, L)

There are strong doubts if the unmarried Suleman has the capacity to care for the 6 boys and 2 girls born premature along with 6 older children, ages 2 to 7. It is unclear whether she is employed, though she lives with her parents who are not financially stable. The parents filed bankruptcy last year with more than $900,000 liabilities. Records show Suleman kept a psychiatric techinician license in 1997 to 2002.

The premature octuplets who are currently cared for in a Kaiser Permanente hospital surely need specialized care. With skyrocketing medical costs in a state teetering towards financial insolvency, many critics fear Suleman may not be able to sustain the duties of a single mom— the physical, psychological, social, and economic demands of rearing 14 dependents. If she can’t keep up with the burden of motherhood, she may require public assistance and the effects on the children are hard to know. It is likely the cost of rearing them will be passed on to taxpayers and society in general. (Photo Credits: byaconnel73170; Ekem PD)=0=

UPDATE: February 2, 2009. Many critics believe the doctor didn’t make good ethical judgmentt in placing at least 8 embryos on Nadya Suleman whose mother Angela is critical of her daughter’s “obssession” to have babies.

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Fecund birth and elderly parturition

December 19, 2008

The arrival of a baby is one of the happiest moments of a family. It is even happier for the Duggar family in Arkansas that welcomes Jordyn-Grace Makiya, a 7 pound, 3 ounces baby girl, the 18th member of the brood. Jim Bob Duggar and wife Michele who are devoted to parenting have now 10 sons and eight daughters. “The ultimate gift from God,” said the ecstatic father whose baby was born by caesarean section (CS) on Thursday, December 18, 2008 at Mercy Medical Center in Rogers, AK.

In India, a similarly happy couple celebrates the birth of their healthy daughter after a pregnancy that was made possible by fertility treatment. At 70 years old, two decades beyond the usual age of menopause, Rajo Devi delivered by CS at the National Fertility Center in Hisar, India, Monday, Dec. 8, 2008. She and husband Bala Ram, 72, had been trying to have a baby for about ten years in a community which bears stigma on childless couples.

Because of modern technology, changing cultural norms, and individual preferences, more couples like the Duggars and the Rams are able to decide on unusual choices of family size and age of childbearing. It is unclear what these choices will bring to their children of the future. (Photo Credit: AP/ Beth Hall; AP /Devendra Uppal) =0=

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