The Issue Of Too Many Children
The recent news of the birth of octuplets in Houston has rekindled discussion of the ethical issues in medically- assisted pregnancies that can result in six, seven and now eight babies. These octuplets, and the birth just over a year ago of the McCaughey septuplets remind us of the power and the responsibility in being able to manipulate reproduction. These amazing technologies can help otherwise infertile women have children,
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and health of their offspring. The risk of harm to mothers and children must be weighed against extremely long odds that such pregnancies will end with thriving babies.
The natural occurrence of high multiple-birth pregnancies is rare, but technologies for assisting reproduction have made them more common. It is this foreseeability that makes them preventable; and as in other aspects of life, if we don't learn from our failures we are destined to repeat them.