Everyday Ethics

Never mind the stretch marks; what on earth is this woman thinking? If the UK’s Sun can be believed, a Tunisian woman is vowing to carry all twelve fetuses to term after having several heartbreaking miscarriages in the past.

Honestly, in my opinion this would-be “Dodecamom” doesn’t sound insane – per se. Rather, she sounds both passionately committed and extremely desperate to have children. Now, I couldn’t do what she’s doing – not in a million years. But what a heinous ethical dilemma to have to come up against! 
In vitro fertilization is so tricky: to go from being infertile to hyper-fertile with no middle ground; one’s only medical option to ‘selectively reduce’ the number of fetuses in the womb. In other words, couples risk having either multiple births or having to abort some of the fertilized embryos they’ve created – embryos arguably made more precious by the near impossibility of bringing them into being. To want children so badly, and then to have to agree to abort some of those potential children… how could you choose?
I understand that for many, the risks of in vitro fertilization and/or ovulation induction treatment are worth it; but in this case, the mother is, let’s face it, unlikely to succeed. And the cost of failure could mean death for her and any number of her unborn children. Those that survived could have a lifetime of medical problems. It’s an unenviable situation, at best.
If the lessons of Nadya Suleman’s rash decisions have not sunk in yet, perhaps it’s time to take a hard look again at how in vitro is practiced, what guidelines govern it, and what safety precautions are in place to help couples whose hearts may be in the right place but whose heads may be clouded by the desperate need to be parents. 

What do you think? Is this lady a kamikazi mommy or mother of the year?
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