Wednesday, January 28, 2009
California octuplets: Another view
There is something undeniably appealing about the birth of octuplets in California this week, something we would like to celebrate. Note the smiles on the faces of the doctors who delivered them.
But let me add a dissenting view, if I may. No information has been released on how the children were conceived. But we probably shouldn't be celebrating this. What it represents, most likely, is a horrible case of medical malpractice.
As Michael Tucker, a researcher and clinical embryologist in Atlanta, told the LA Times, "if a medical practitioner had anything to do with it, there's some degree of inappropriate medical therapy there."
These children face an extremely difficult future. If they survive, they are likely to have multiple handicaps, at least the smallest of them.
So while we wish the family and the children the best, we might also supply the corrective that this seemingly miraculous birth is likely to have a sad outcome over the long term.