Earlier this month, I asked you about your thoughts on family planning and how factors that include money, time, religious beliefs and environmental concerns all play into your decisions. So along those lines, I thought I’d bring up the California couple that gave birth to octuplets – six boys and two girls, born weighing between 1 pound 8 ounces and 3 pounds, 4 ounces and delivered via Cesarean section. (The babies, by the way, are all breathing on their own and five have started bottle feeding. And, according to news reports, the woman who gave birth to them also has six other children.)
Yesterday, The Los Angeles Times wrote about the risks and ethics involved in such a pregnancy. “When we see something like this in the general fertility world, it gives us the heebie-jeebies,” Michael Tucker, a clinical embryologist in Atlanta and a leading researcher in infertility treatment, told the LA Times. He added that, “if a medical practitioner had anything to do with it, there’s some degree of inappropriate medical therapy.”
The reporters noted that these multiple births not only involve the potential for all kinds of health problems for mother and babies; they also “consume enormous financial resources for hospitals, health insurers and families.”
Some people have strong opinions on this issue. On The Seattle Times website, a woman who identified herself as Bothell mom wrote: “This woman went into the hospital and had a ‘litter’ like an animal. This is going to cost society at some point. There is NO way you can convince me that this family is going to foot this bill on their own for the lives of these kids. Unless this family is pulling in A-List Hollywood paychecks, they’re going to end up being a drain on taxpayers. …”
What do you think?