Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Should fertility doctors limit embryo implantations?

Since the birth of the California octuplets last month, the Internet has been buzzing with people who agree with/disagree with/are horrified with/don't care much about what happened and how it happened.

But, regardless of how you feel about the woman's choices, what do you think of the doctor's choices? It's been said that the doctor implanted all eight embryos into the California mom's uterus and all eight took. Other people are saying (theorizing) that fewer embryos were implanted but they divided. While that last thought is true, the idea that only four were implanted and *all* four divided is just on the side of ludicrous. From what I've been reading, the division itself is rare - but for this woman to have four divide, those are odds worth buying a lottery ticket for.

How do I feel? I think any doctor that puts a woman's life at risk by implanting any more than four embryos should lose his or her license. Not only is the doctor putting the woman's life at risk, the babies may grow up with severe handicaps if they live. They may not and many perfectly "normal" babies do end up disabled later in life. But why introduce this very strong possibility when it can be avoided?

Time has an interesting article on IVF and embryo implantation. It's worth popping over there to read.

What do you think?


Merry said...

I think it's incredibly sad.
And yes, the doctor needs his head examined. As does the woman herself.

Old Wife said...

I, too, think transferring 8 embryos is irresponsible. And IVF for a woman who already has 6 young children? Crazy! Especially transferring more than 1 embro. The whole situation has me shaking my head.

Jenna said...

I think that it needs to be limited for sure- if for nothing else but to look out for the future of the children who may be born out of the implanted embryos. What that woman did was irresponsible to begin with. It's ok to love children, but she went beyond the limits. She already had six small children (which she couldn't even support!). The fact that the doctor had to have known this but still proceeded without due caution is beyond words.