Ethicists and Public Cry Foul Over Octuplets' Mom, Doctor
Yesterday, 33-year-old unemployed graduate student Nadya Suleman broke her silence and sat down for an interview with the Today Show about her choice to have 14 children via in vitro fertilization, including the octuplets born to her on January 26th in Bellflower. While the interview raised the issue of her life-long desire to be a mother to many children, as well as her struggle with depression, it still could not address some of the very pressing issues of medical ethics raised in the aftermath of her octuplets' birth.
Bearing the brunt of the public's outrage is the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center where Suleman delivered. They received "calls from more than two dozen disgruntled Kaiser members complaining about the mom's super-sized healthcare tab as they are struggling to pay for the medical care they need," reports the LA Times, which tapered off when the hospital made it clear that they were not connected with Suleman's IVF pregnancy, just her delivery. According to the Times' calculations, they estimate she and the babies have incurred $300,000 in charges at Kaiser to date.
Also drawing criticism is the fact that Suleman was implanted with 6 embryos, when 2-3 is the norm for a woman her age. Now her doctor, who allegedly handled all six of her pregnancies, "is now facing a state investigation on top of harsh criticism from medical ethicists," reports the Daily Breeze. They add that board spokeswoman Candis Cohen said: "We're looking into the matter to see if we can substantiate if there was a violation of the standard of care." Suleman's thoughts on implanting all six: "I wanted them all transferred. Those are my children, and that's what was available and I used them. So, I took a risk. It's a gamble. It always is. . . . And it turned out perfectly."