Octuplets raise ethical questions

Discussion in 'Other Discussions' started by ysabel, Jan 31, 2009.

  1. ysabel

    ysabel /ˈɪzəˌbɛl/ pink 5

    If you haven't read this thread yet, a woman recently gave birth to octuplets making her the second person in the world to achieve such a feat.

    Ethicists have started debating moral issues involved. Main questions are:

    1. Should there be a limit to the number of embyros allowed to be implanted in fertility clinics?

    2. Is selective reduction (reducing the number of fetuses in a multifetal pregnancy to save other fetuses or lower risk to mom's health) the same as abortion?

    3. Should doctors be able to override a patient's request for the sake of saving lives (ex: if patient is emotionally distraught, some decide poorly)?

    See article for background:


  2. Pugz

    Pugz Ms. Malone V.I.P. Lifetime

    She paid for the treatment and she took the risks; what actually bothers me is that she had the 8 babies and her previous 6 through the treatment-her neighbours say she lives with her parents and have never seen her with a man.

    Could something be wrong mentally? Why would she want to raise all those children, not on her own, but without a perminant father?
  3. Stab-o-Matic5000

    Stab-o-Matic5000 Cutting Edge in Murder

    As for question one, there should definitely be restrictions. Putting in multiple embryos is just frankly insane and asinine.

    For question two, I would say yes, it is the same as abortion, however, just like with abortion, if it is done to save lives it is a necessary evil.

    Question three, even with impaired judgment, a person still has the right to decide what is best for their body. As long as the doctor has advised the patient about the risks involved, the patient should be able to make up their own mind.
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  4. ysabel

    ysabel /ˈɪzəˌbɛl/ pink 5

    Hmm, now that you mention it, I just noticed there's no reference about the father. The articles only referred to the octuplet's grandfather and the woman's mother. :hmm:

    It just adds to the ethical considerations. Should fertility clinics be more selective with who to accept for the implants (these are possible babies), the same way adoption clinics are when choosing suitable guardians for a child? Would it be right to enable someone to have this responsibility (having children) if the situation casts a doubt about a person's capability of handling it? Or should they not be concerned with such considerations (ex: consider everyone has a right to bear kids anyway) as long as the patient paid for it?
  5. Merc

    Merc Certified Shitlord V.I.P. Lifetime

    Her body, her decisions. People need to figure this equation out. It's not very difficult. If she wants to attempt an eight child birth, that's her choice.
  6. Smelnick

    Smelnick Creeping On You V.I.P.

    If they put restrictions on the number of embryos that can be implanted, that would definitely remove some of the later ethical dilemnas (ie: should some be taken back out, should the doctors override decisions etc)

    Why shouldn't there be a limit eh? If women really were intended to have 8 babies at a time, wouldn't that be a little more common? twins is the most common, and triplets is rough I imagine, but also common. But 8 babies is ridiculous. And she has 6 kids already. I worry about what kind of life all these kids will have, and who is paying for all their food and stuff?

    Cons, in regards to your comment 'her body, her choice'. Sometimes it's better to restrict the choices a person can make. Her 'choice' just might lead to a bunch of neglected kids running around cause mom can't take care of all of them at once. These rebelling teens will probably run around causing crimes and stuff. Also, a lady successfully having 8 babies, is going to encourage alot of other silly ladies to have large multiple births as well. Imagine school now lol, one third of the grade 4 class is the Smith kids, another third is the johnsons etc. lol. Anyhow, the point I'm trying to make is that , yes, it's true that it's her choice, however, some choices need to be nixxed, and/or controlled, because they don't just affect her.
  7. Merc

    Merc Certified Shitlord V.I.P. Lifetime

    Yes, if that person exhibits or has pre-existing reasons supporting a decision to restrict their choices. A person with a history of physical violence should not own a handgun, a man who beats his wife should not be allowed to adopt children, etc.

    They may also move to England and take the professional rowing circuit by storm, winning countless awards and making their family rich beyond compare due to their unnatural rowing abilities.

    See? It just doesn't work that way. It's a hassle to have that many kids, but it doesn't mean that they're going to fail as parents and that their children will be delinquents. No offense, but I think a lot of us get these ideas from the media and entertainment venues. It's logical that a big family is harder to maintain, but it doesn't guarantee anything in the way of the "quality" of their children. I've known parents with a single child who fail miserably and families with six who have succeeded in raising all of them to be honor role students with clean criminal records.

    But you're not dealing in guarantees here. That's like saying, "Well Mrs. Smith, your nephew was a serial killer, so we're suggesting you get your tubes tied to save the rest of us from the wrath of your potential dangerous baby oven". You can't predict what will happen to a person or how their children will turn out based on generalizations. Just because some families with a lot of kids are dysfunctional and out of control doesn't mean they all are. My mother had 4 (total) and people considered her nuts for that many but our family is doing just fine. I understand what you're getting at, that she may have taken on "more than her fill" but it doesn't make anything certain or predictable.

    Also, I don't see how having eight kids is going to "encourage" anybody. Most people who don't give birth to eight kids aren't thinking, "Damn if only there was a way to have eight kids, I'd be INVICIBLE!"

    Hell no dude!

    Most of them do not have that many kids because they simply don't want that many kids. I bet if you could poll the nations, an overwhelming majority would want between 1-3 kids and no more. Just because one lady pulls a nutter and chooses to have 8 doesn't mean any women are going to follow suit. That's a tad bit ridiculous there.
  8. Smelnick

    Smelnick Creeping On You V.I.P.

    Yah I guess your right. I think I may have been trying too hard to make a point that wasn't really much of a point =P I still think that women shouldn't be having 8 babies, but its more for the sake of the babies than anything. My mom had a hard enough time with 5 kids. This lady has 14 now. In the old days, families had like 14 kids, but usually by the time the 14th one around, the older kids were old enough to help out and stuff. More than half of this lady's kids are the same age. One mom, (single at that) taking care of 14 babies is gonna be hard, so lets hope she gets smart and gets some help.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2009
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  9. ysabel

    ysabel /ˈɪzəˌbɛl/ pink 5

    I'm not against artificial fertilization methods but I agree that there should be restrictions and not just be careless with its use. We cannot control who gets pregnant naturally even if some people want to be able to control it (ex: think that some people shouldn't have kids). But if we had the power to minimise irresponsible breeding without going against the natural scheme of things, I think we should take the opportunity. Otherwise it will just look like a baby factory where you can order x number of babies as you want (for whatever reason). However it would lead to another question: when is it responsible?
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  10. Bananas

    Bananas Endangered Species

    Yes, definitely. it is unnatural. If the science behind artificial fetilation if it is not enough medeling in natures affairs then doing it multiple times as a fail safe is just foolish. If we are going to recreate nature then we should recreate nature as its norm, 1 cycle = 1 embryo.

    Yes it is the same as abortion, regarding the ethical issues of that and to be frank we should not put ourselves in that position to start with (see q1).

    I assume this is reference to q2; It would all depend on the situation. It is within the Doctors ethics to save a life when possible. If the patientss request is handing out a death sentence then I'd prefer the Doctor to use their better judgement and to face the consequences later.

    Regarding the case in question it should of never been allowed to happen. Sure some embryos split, for it to happen repeatedly until there were 8 is unlikely. We should not have the option of embryo reduction as those embryos should not of been there to start with. If that narrows down the probability of the patient getting pregnant then her odds are still higher than with no treatment.

    They put the mothers life at risk and also gave very poor odds to 8 more lives who willl most likely suffer many ailments as a result of this greed and mispractice.
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