Kamis, 05 Februari 2009

8 Babies - How Did It Happen?

Last week a 33-year-old unwed California women gave birth to octuplets. Experts say that there are only two plausible explanations; they could have been conceived naturally if the woman had taken heavy-duty fertility drugs and had ovulated eight eggs at once, or an IVF clinic deliberately implanted eight embryos, against all current IVF treatment guidelines.

The woman’s mother has said that the woman had frozen embryos left over from previous IVF cycles, and that she had embryos implanted last year. But who would implant eight embryos?! It’s no surprise that the woman’s doctor has not yet come forward to take “credit” for this feat. Ethicists and fertility specialists are in agreement that implanting eight embryos during one IVF cycle would be unethical and irresponsible. Doctors apparently offered the woman the opportunity to reduce the number of embryos early in the pregnancy, but she refused.

This one is likely to be debated for awhile by ethicists and fertility experts. It might even be discussed on Oprah's show some day soon, if the woman can get enough money to appear! Reports are that she is holding out for several million dollars. Good luck.

Note added April 20, 2009: Apparently six embryos were implanted, but two split into twins. The maximum number of embryos which should be implanted is two, according to voluntary guidelines established by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

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