The story of the California Octuplets sure has garnered a lot of media attention. It certainly is a real-life soap opera. As a woman who has undergone fertility treatments and knows well the feelings of desperation that can come with trying to conceive I can relate to the mother just an inkling; however, my empathy comes to a halt pretty quickly once I read her story. There’s been a lively thread over at Childless Not By Choice on the subject, and I pretty much summed up my feelings in my posts there. I will excerpt them here because I wrote them before I came down with the creeping crud, and I must say that my writing composition abilities leave a lot to be desired in my sickly state.
Regarding the fact that this mother was implanted with eight embryos even though she already had six children:
This story proves how slippery the slope has become in the fertility medicine world. Just my opinion…but it has become a babies-for-sale business, and the crazy thing about it is they (the fertility doctors) can make money hand over fist without having to promise their “patients” a baby in the end. It’s become about greed and not about what is best for the patient.
As most of you know when doctors take the Hippocratic oath they pledge, “First, do no harm.” That means…you put the patient’s best interest first. This fertility doctor obviously did not put this patient’s well being first in allowing her to make and implant so many embryos. There were rumors she was “paid” to do this which leads me to believe that maybe she was in some sort of clinical trial, because people get paid to participate in clinical trials and get the drugs free.
This is why I never went the IVF route. To me, I was uncomfortable…not with the way the embryos were conceived…but with how many they wanted to do in one sitting to help ensure you get one viable child. I knew my personality could never handle having “a litter”, and I would never opt for selective reduction…never. Those two criteria made the decision for me. It was my own personal choice. I don’t judge others who go this route.
(excerpt from a subsequent CNBC Post)This may be harsh, but I still think there is something funny about all of this. She claims that she is being judged harshly because she’s not married and says she will be able to provide for her children once she goes back to school and becomes a counselor. What about in the interim? Even if she had support in form of a husband or even supportive parents and family members she is going to have a difficult time just caring for them much less working and going to school. Even though she says she’s not going to be a welfare mother one has to assume she’s going to have to have public assistance until she “gets on her feet” so to speak.
Maybe I’m being harsh or too black and white in my thinking, but unless people start throwing money and/or help her direction I believe she’s in a no-win situation.
I would love to be wrong though…