Saturday, January 31, 2009

Multiple babies and mental illness, take 2

You know that lady who gave birth to the eight kids recently?

Remember how it turns out she got fertility treatments to do this? And how we learned that she already had six children?

Now, even more details are emerging and the doctors involved have some explaining to do.

She had _all_ of her fourteen children through IVF. She's never been married. Her mother describes her as being "obsessed" with children. Her mother was so disturbed by this that she (the mother) sought psychological counseling; her counselor told her to kick the daughter out of the house.

But wait, it gets better.

One of her children is autistic.

And he holds a degree in child and adolescent development from Cal State Fullerton. She was also studying for a master's in counseling.

Her mother told the LA Times that all of the children came from the same sperm donor.

My brain just hurts trying to think about all the layers of mental illness at play here and "passing the buck" by health professionals on this.

An NPR report yesterday noted that fertility docs don't see their role as questioning the desire of patients to have more kids. They just see this as a medical procedure where they offer their services and leave the "ethics" up to someone else.

Remember the case that was in the news a few months ago with the woman in her 70s who got fertility treatments and gave birth?

Just because science has a means to do something doesn't mean it should always be done.

What defines a mental illness from something like a peculiar taste or preference is behavior that is harmful to one's self or to others.

In this case and others, again, I have to ask why this medical procedure is being given to someone who is endangering their own health and welfare and that of the resulting kids in order to satisfy their own obsession.

And she was getting a master's degree in counseling?

Sheesh. I've always heard that psychiatrists and psychologists could be some of the most mixed up people on the planet. Now, I believe it.

AP article at Huffington Post

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