General Question

Judi's avatar

Should doctors giver fertility drugs to women who have large families?

Asked by Judi (37158 points ) January 30th, 2009

Should insurance be required to pay for it?
I just read here that the mother of octuplets was young and already had 6 kids, 2 of whom were twins. Was giving her fertility drugs irresponsible? I haven’t formulated an opinion yet, although my first instinct was “how irresponsible.” I want to be open minded. What do you think?

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30 Answers

Vinifera7's avatar

It’s up to the insurance company whether or not they will cover the fertility drugs for women with many children. Personally I don’t think people should have so many children due to overpopulation issues, but it’s not my right to tell them not to.

asmonet's avatar

I think it’s the choice of the parent. Though I disagree with it, based on the environmental impact long term. It’s their right to have more children.

I think in her case she just got screwed a bit, no one expects octuplets, and the vast majority of fertility treatments don’t end that way. I kind of feel bad for her.

I think two is acceptable, four is the maximum and if you want more children beyond that it should come out of your pocket, and yours only.

bythebay's avatar

That’s a tough one, Judi. Rationally it would seem the answer is no, because fertility treatments are used for those with trouble conceiving. If one already has copious amounts of children – why is there a need? However, at what line (or number of children), does the insurance company say no? And Asmonet is correct; it is their right to have as large a family as they desire.

My real issue comes when you find out a family of that size receives public assistance, etc. They did say this morning on the news that her husband has been working in Iraq, and is going back. She has a tough road ahead of her.

basp's avatar

I have strong feelings about this. With six children already it would seem she does by need fertility treatments to get pregnant so why did she go that route. Also the article quoted a relative that stated she would not consider selective abortion, the implication that would be killing. Well, if she doesn’t want tomess with god’s plan she should have never implanted those embyos in the first place as that, in itself, is messing with god’s plan.
Save the fertility treatments for those that really need it.

Vinifera7's avatar

Isn’t taking the fertility treatments in the first place “messing with god’s plan?”

bythebay's avatar

It’s not up to me to determine who decides when they should or shouldn’t mess with Gods plan. But I can only imagine how painful and gut wrenching this story is for those who have endured endless fertility treatments and still not conceived; and now this family has 14 children.

basp's avatar

Vinifera
Exactly my point.

dynamicduo's avatar

There are more than enough babies in the world that need loving parents. I don’t know why someone would continue to take fertility drugs and pop out clutches of babies. It’s not my right to deny them the privilege.

One thing I do agree with, is that there is a huge dissonance in accepting fertility treatments but refusing to terminate extra fertilized embryos. Then again, it takes a logical and rational mind to see and understand this dissonance, and unfortunately the world is seriously lacking in the logical minds department.

cak's avatar

Just as a side note – fertility drugs do not always equal multiples. My son is a fertility drug baby – I had working parts – just needed some help.

Truly, I haven’t kept up with the details of this story – outside of the fact there were 8 babies and now we find out that there are 6 children at home. My concerns are this – can they support these babies- along with the other 6 children. Do they understand the importance of “me” time for each child – no matter how simple it might seem, but that time is crucial to a child.

If they can support them, great! More power to them. I think it’s not really our business to regulate it, one way or another.

As far as insurance, mine didn’t cover it. I’m split on how I feel about that. Viagra is covered, but this isn’t. A little annoying for someone in my shoes.

My husband and I always had the intention of adopting another child, possibly two. However, that was stopped – by the agency, once I was diagnosed with cancer. We weren’t even trying to adopt a newborn. We were hoping to adopt a child 4 and up, one that is becoming more “unadoptable” – even special needs. We didn’t want to do private adoption, not at first, because there are too many children that are being raised in orphanages or foster care, to step out of those boundaries, in our opinion.

DrBill's avatar

RELIGOUS:
The truly faithful will not abort a baby, they also will not interfere with Gods plan by artificial insemination or implantation.

LOGICAL:
When embryos are implanted, it is with the intention of pruning to keep only the most viable of the babies. If you get implanted, you should be prepared for the pruning.

COMMON CENTS: (pun intended)
People should not have more children than they can afford to raise (without government assistance).

EmpressPixie's avatar

So it is starting to look more and more like there was an unethical doctor involved in the octuplets who implanted far above and beyond the US guideline number of embryos. And he is basically trying to cover him bum by saying it was fertility drugs.

Which brings another ethical side to it. Yes, fertility drugs increase your chance for multiples, but so does an unethical doctor (apparently).

wundayatta's avatar

Do we want doctors or insurance companies setting the criteria for who can have another child? If a woman has too many, we won’t help her to have more? What if she’s too poor to take care of even one properly (and what is properly, anyway?) What if she has no husband or partner? What if she is mentally ill? Or mentally retarded?

I don’t see how society can get into the business of deciding who is allowed to get help getting pregnant, and who isn’t. That’s the equivalent of eugenics. No, it is eugenics. I don’t think people want to be in the company of other eugenicists.

I may be biased. I wouldn’t have children without the help of fertility treatments. I was born without the tubing necessary to get sperm out. That’s because I carry one of the genes necessary to get cystic fibrosis. Some doctors actually argue that congenital absence of vas (the technical name for my problem) is cystic fibrosis! I can pass that gene on. In fact, I did. My daughter carries it. Should I not have been allowed to procreate technologically because I carry the genes for a horrible disease?

You know, it was so ironic when I found out. Most people in this country are trying to prevent pregnancy. They can get pregnant as fast as they can fall off a log. Before I knew about this, I was using birth control. It was all so unnecessary.

Insurance didn’t cover our treatments. We know exactly how much our children cost. They are lovely, talented children. They seem as normal as any other kids. Every day I am grateful that humans have developed this technology, and I doubt if there is a parent in the world who benefitted from it who is not grateful, not even those who already have umpteen kids.

asmonet's avatar

@cak: They disqualified you for having cancer? Depending on what kind, how advanced, etc. that seems harsh. Does that disqualify you permanently?

cak's avatar

@asmonet – yes, they disqualified me because of stage, type and probability of it coming back – or other complications. To date, I’ve faced many of the complications…only to be fighting it all, again.

I can’t tell you how much we truly wanted one or two more children. We’ve both experienced the newborn stage – we truly just wanted another child and wanted to help a child less adoptable.

It was and still is, very devastating. We have the means to adopt, we have the will and the love. We were approved, on our way and then it was rescinded. We celebrated, started moving things and thinking of the furniture. We wanted to be ready. In an instant, the time it takes to read a two paragraph letter, it was all gone.

We hired an attorney but were told that we were on the losing end of this one. Now, we volunteer, more than ever at a local home for children. I swear though, every time we leave, it breaks my heart. I see it on my husband’s face, too. Even my children wanted to welcome another child into our home.

asmonet's avatar

@cak: That’s awful, you sound like you were the perfect fit for a child with limited options in the adoption world. It’s too bad that sometimes loving homes are passed up for whatever reason. I hope you get better, and maybe in the future you can adopt if it’s still a good fit for you. I love that you’re still finding ways to help children in need, even if it’s hard for you I imagine it does wonders for them. Good luck! :)

miasmom's avatar

@cak That is horrible! A child with a loving parent, regardless of the amount of time, is better than not having a parent at all. That really saddens me, I’m so sorry the system is messed up!

laureth's avatar

I hesitate to say that there should be laws in place to cover the situation that the asker is wondering about. At first glance, it makes sense – of course they shouldn’t have more kids – but that starts down a very slippery slope. Better to have a few extra kids in the world than a state that controls reproduction.

Ron_C's avatar

I think that taking fertility drugs is immoral and wrong. Maybe they would be acceptable after all of the children in the world had parents but until then it is just selfish and narcissistic.

wundayatta's avatar

Selfishness and narcissism are what keep the race going. I assume you don’t have any kids, @Ron_C.

Ron_C's avatar

@wundayatta I have two grown daughters. I don’t have a problem with natural conception, my problem is with fertility clinics and multiple births that are a result. I think it is just obscene.

wundayatta's avatar

I think…. er, hope that if you met my children you wouldn’t think they were obscene. I hope that if you were infertile, you’d feel the same way, and just resign yourself to be childless. I hope you never have to be faced with a relative or friend who is infertile. If you are, I hope you keep your opinions to yourself.

Ron_C's avatar

@wundayatta fine, I have no need to further expound on my opinions of artificial multiple births.

I actually have no problem with the children, I really love kids. I just find the method by which they were conceived—unnatural.

I wish you and your kids well.

Earthgirl's avatar

cak I find it truly maddening that adoption agencies turned you down because of your history of cancer. I find it shocking really. In a way it makes sense, I suppose. The rules for adoptive parents are strict to ensure that the children will find a good, stable,loving home. But isn’t this kind of like telling you the cards are stacked against your survival? Yet so many people go on to live long lives after surviving cancer. Why is it that a couple with one partner who has health issues is less able to adopt than a single parent? I wonder if they deny adoption to people who work in risky professions, say, race car drivers and fighter pilots.
I am also a cancer survivor. When I was 26, after 5 years in remission, I was told by my gynecologist that “maybe you shouldn’t have children, did you ever think of that?” I was so dumbfounded that I didn’t even know what to say to her. I wasn’t brought up to be confrontational and I let it pass. To this day I don’t know what exactly she meant by it but I assume it meant that it would be irresponsible of me to have a child if I wasn’t sure I’d be around to take care of it. When I told my mother what she had said my mother was furious! I never went back to see that doctor again and to this day it makes me so angry to think of it.

I agree with Laureth. It’s a slippery slope when we let the state decide who should and shouldn’t have children. It’s sad though that the children who end up neglected and uncared for are the ones to suffer for their parent’s irresponsibility.

Judi's avatar

I wish @cak was still here :-(

laureth's avatar

Is she not? It has been a while since I’ve seen a post.

Judi's avatar

She hasn’t been on Facebook either. I know she was having a really tough time with her health. She spent a lot of time in the hospital.

laureth's avatar

Wishing her the best!

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