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Readers Disparage Mother, Doctors

Some stories bring out the worst in our Readers Who Comment. Exhibit A today is an article about the ethical debate that has arisen with the birth of octuplets to a woman in Los Angeles who already had six children.

There are certainly medical ethics questions, as Ashley Surdin reports. Our readers are angry with the fertility doctor or doctors, but really angry with the mother. Many readers asked who was going to pay for the extraordinary medical team that was pulled together for the delivery and ask how the family will support itself. Many suggest some sort of regulatory solution to keep this from happening again.

There's an enormous amount of righteous indignation or condemnation, but few expressions of concern for the future of the children. The Los Angeles TImes has been all over this story and reports this morning that the mother, Nadya Suleman, has filed at least two claims for workers' compensation.

As for our readers, we'll start with cozybirch, whose comment strikes me as the most pertinent in the entire string: "Bless those 14 kids. They do not have an easy path ahead."

tarheeler was one of many who asked, "And who exactly is paying for the medical coverage here? Take a guess... US!!!! And the very broke state of California. Time for some regulation, it seems...."

JoeSixPack1 wrote, "If this woman used her own money for the birth of all the kids and will raise all of them with her own financial resources, she is my hero. Otherwise, she is lower than a pig."

kansasgal1 said, "Since the mother most likely will never be able to pay the medical bills, the doctor whose unethical practices led to what will be millions of dollars of care should be held at least partially responsible to pay back the state..."

1RAM said, "Her stupid doctor should have told her no when she wanted to add to her family..."

mjk2210 wrote, "this is NOT miraculous. It is a diservice to the planet and society..."

neil64 proposed that "...Suleman should be denied any welfare, Medicare, public assistance, etc. Let her work three jobs to provide for them...
I am tired of paying for other peoples indulgences. Aren't you?"

Seneca32 said, "The woman is almost certainly, as her mother says, "not evil" - but she also, almost certainly, deeply disturbed. And whatever medical professional or professionals who willingly implanted these eight embryos should have their licenses pulled. What they did was an unconscionable breach of ethics."

dotellen offered that "Only a woman who has ZERO children should be allowed to receive fertility treatments!"

But dummypants said, "i dont get it...if a woman can choose when to not have kids why cant she choose when to have kids and how many? its the right to privacy right?"

KarenLS wrote, "...She should be evaluated and if found not competent to handle this many kids then they should be taken into the foster system. I`m sure that given the circumstances there would be many families willing take one of these kids..."

ggwalt said, "...It's extremely difficult to fathom what motivated this physician to treat this woman. Was it money, the attention, or incredibly poor judgement? Either way, the physician should be subject to some sort of disciplinary action. This is just plain pathetic and should never have happened."

We'll close with vnelsonus who said, "why would you aid someone already with six children? Do you realize how many women are out here who wish to conceive naturally and yet you impregnate someone already with a house-full of children. More screening needs to be done..."

All comments on this story are here.

By Doug Feaver  |  February 4, 2009; 7:25 AM ET
Categories:  Health , Medical Care  | Tags: Fertility, Health Care, Octuplets  
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