Reproductive Ethics

May 15, 2009 • Volume 19, Issue 19
Should fertility medicine be regulated more tightly?
By Marcia Clemmitt

Introduction

Nadya Suleman (AFP/Getty Images/Robyn Beck)
Nadya Suleman, a single mother from Southern California, was quickly dubbed “Octomom” after giving birth to octuplets in January. In apparent violation of accepted medical practice, a physician implanted at least six embryos in Suleman during in vitro fertilization (IVF). (AFP/Getty Images/Robyn Beck)

Nadya Suleman, an unemployed, 33-year-old, single mother from Southern California, felt her six children weren't enough. Last January, after a fertility doctor implanted six embryos she had frozen earlier, Suleman gave birth to octuplets — and was quickly dubbed “Octomom.” Many fertility experts were shocked that a doctor would depart so far from medical guidelines — which recommend implantation of only one, or at most two, embryos for a woman of Suleman's relatively young age. Although multiple births often do result from in vitro fertilization (IVF) and other assisted-reproduction technologies, the number of multiples has dropped over the past few years, they point out. Other analysts note, however, that government statistics show a large percentage of clinics frequently ignore the guidelines on embryo implantation. In response, lawmakers in several states have introduced proposals to increase regulation of fertility clinics.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Genetics and Cloning
Sep. 15, 2017  Medical Breakthroughs
Jun. 19, 2015  Manipulating the Human Genome
May 31, 2013  Patenting Human Genes
Jan. 21, 2011  Genes and Health
May 15, 2009  Reproductive Ethics
Oct. 22, 2004  Cloning Debate
May 18, 2001  Designer Humans
May 12, 2000  Human Genome Research
Dec. 17, 1999  Embryo Research
May 28, 1999  DNA Databases
Apr. 03, 1998  Biology and Behavior
May 09, 1997  The Cloning Controversy
Dec. 08, 1995  Gene Therapy's Future
Apr. 08, 1994  Reproductive Ethics
Oct. 18, 1991  Gene Therapy
Aug. 16, 1991  Fetal Tissue Research
Jun. 30, 1989  Solving Crimes with Genetic Fingerprinting
Apr. 03, 1987  Biotechnology Developments
Jan. 10, 1986  Genetic Breakthroughs
Dec. 26, 1980  Genetic Business
Mar. 25, 1977  Genetic Research
May 19, 1971  Human Engineering
Aug. 20, 1969  Human Intelligence
Dec. 13, 1967  Genetics and the Life Process
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Mothers