IVF pregnancies: controversy over multiple births

There is controversy in China over multiple births as the result of IVF therapy. The response was initiated when news came to hand of a wealthy couple who had eight babies with the assistance of two surrogate mothers.

Despite much of the outrage which is focused on the couples’ complete disregard for the “one child policy”, the case does have some relevance to the rest of the world. Similar opinions are being raised to that of the “Octo-mum” case a couple of years ago in the United States. Questions are being asked such as “Does an individual have the right to take IVF to such an extreme?” and “What role did the doctors play in the decision making?”

Though, it must be pointed out this case is different to that of the “Octo-mum” case. This mother had three of the children herself whilst the other five children were from the surrogate mothers, so all eight babies were not carried by the one woman. But, that being so, it does also raise the issue of children being treated as assets or commodities and not as human lives. Other questions which need answering are: Are the health risks of such multiple births being considered? When three or more babies are involved in a pregnancy it does dramatically increase the risks to the mother and the babies. More fundamentally, are these women able to adequately care for these children? What do you think?

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