Friday, January 30, 2009

What Is This? A Puppy Mill?

It's come out today that the woman who just gave birth to octuplets - as in eight sprogs - already had six kids at home, including a pair of two year old twins.

From The Guardian:

The woman, who has not been identified, received fertility treatment and was given the option of reducing the number of embryos but declined, according to her mother, Angela Suleman.
The embryos were implanted last year, and "they all happened to take," Suleman told the Los Angeles Times. "What do you suggest she should have done? She refused to have them killed. That is a very painful thing," she said.

The news that the woman would be faced with raising a family of 14 children came as medical experts continued to question the judgment of the team behind the delivery. Fertility specialists said that multiple births can endanger the mother and cause long-term health and developmental problems for the children.

Now reproductive freedom is one thing but using medical intervention to get 14-kids seems to go a tad beyond that. What kind of life are the parents going to be able to offer these kids? Do they even care? What if they decide to roll the dice again and head straight back to the fertility clinic?

Update - Oh great! CBS News is reporting that the mother, Hattie Kauffmann, is now living with her parents. The whereabouts of the father seems to be a mystery. A little over a year and a half ago, Hattie and Hubbie filed for bankruptcy and abandoned their home. Oh but it gets better.

Hattie's dad, the grandfather to the baker's dozen plus one gaggle of kids, has headed back to his native Iraq to earn money to support daughter and her kids. The grandparents' home, said to be a smallish, 2-3 bedroom bungalow, will house 14-children, eight of them infants, and three to four adults.


catnip said...

"puppy mill"?

How insulting.

I understand you have concerns but that term seems rather inappropriate.

Beijing York said...

Hardly inappropriate. Fertility treatments were designed to give opportunities to women who could not conceive naturally. How is it that this woman needed to go back to her sperm bank account after successfully conceiving 6 healthy children?

And how could any medical practitioner allow it?

I'm all for live and let live but when the family is actively securing media coverage (e.g. photo gig with a major tattle tale magazine) and donations from the public, you do have to wonder whether there is some kind of exploitation at play.

catnip said...

So you think calling the children "puppies" i.e. dogs is fine and that the mother's actions equate to what goes on in a puppy mill? Really? Do you know how those dogs are treated? And that's relevant to this story how, exactly?

From what I've seen of this story from many different sources, nobody seems to have the story straight. Everyone sure has their judgmental opinion about the mother and family involved though.

If people want to talk about IVF - and it's not even clear that she actually had embryos implanted - fine. Talk about those issues. But all I've seen in the blogosphere today is people - so-called "progressives" using personal attacks against people they know nothing about except what the MSM is feeding them.

Volly said...

I'm with Beijing and MOS - human beings were not designed to reproduce in such a fashion - that's why it makes the news, duhhh! We have the technology, but must we use it? Puppy mill is an apt term indeed - when dogs are bred indiscriminately for the sole purpose of quantity and, I will add, MAKING MONEY, the offspring usually suffer. Birth defects abound. This is quite likely to happen in this case, too. The woman's mother said that there were 8 embryos in storage and she didn't want to waste them. So some quackjob of a doctor implanted all eight. This was not necessary.

Sometimes I question the idea of evolution solely because it seems, in cases such as this, that we are going BACKWARD.