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Friday, March 6, 2009

The "Octo-Mom"

I've read and seen quite a bit about the "Octo-Mom" (a.k.a. Nadya Suleman) in the press, and I have to admit that I'm both fascinated and disgusted, all at the same time.

What drives someone to re-make their looks so that they resemble a celebrity?

What drives someone to treat children like they were part of some glorified Beanie-Baby collection, where having a few more is something to be desired?

Why on Earth would a doctor implant 8 embryos in a single parent who already has 6 children?

Simply put, there is a lot to dig into here. If you want a story that has political, social, religious and ethical tentacles, then this one is for you.

What bothers me the most about the whole Octo-Mom story is that over and above the above points of fascination noted above, there are 14 children who are going to have a hell of a tough life ahead of them unless there is some kind of intervening on the part of California. When my three daughters were younger it was very tough, so I can't imagine what it would be like to be single and have 14 kids. Children these days have it tougher than I did as a kid: the world is more complex, there is far more pressure on them to grow up sooner, and there is so much temptation out there to do the wrong thing. The 14 Octo-Kids have all of these normal pressures, plus a mother that will not be able to cope with pressure. They deserve better.

Ms Suleman clearly needs help on the mental health front. Either she is incapable of understanding what having 14 kids entails, or she is and she doesn't care. Regardless of the choice, the underlying current of mental illness is still the same.

The doctor that performed the in-vitro procedures (she had two done) needs to have his license revoked by the state of California. I know that he could argue that if he didn't do this someone else would have, but that doesn't change the fact that he knew her circumstances but yet still went ahead with this procedure which, by everything I've read on the topic (where the normal number of implanted embryos is something like 2 or 3) violates his oath as a medical professional to "do no harm".

God help these poor kids.

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