A 65 year old woman has given birth. Is that a good thing?
I’m usually thrilled by the miracle of new life, but one of the latest miracles of medicine is leaving me rather sickened. Another has me feeling touched – but confused.
A 65-year-old German woman has given birth to quadruplets.
Congratulations on new life and being the world’s oldest woman to have quads, Annegret. And best of luck with bringing up children who may have developmental problems for life while you cope with being a single mother to 13 children and 7 grandchildren.
I’m being harsh, I know. Perhaps criticism should also be directed at the fertility clinic in the Ukraine. No doubt doctors were thrilled at their success in reversing menopause with hormones and implanting the young donor eggs fertilised by stranger’s sperm.
But did they really think about the repercussions of their cleverness?
The clinic is not the only one in the world with questionable ethics. Spanish woman Maria del Carmen Bousada de Lara was 66 when she had IVF treatment in America and then had twins in 2006. She was the world’s oldest mother until she died before her boys turned three.
India’s IVF clinics pride themselves on post-menopausal babies. Rajo Devi Lohan had a child at 69 after three rounds of IVF that nearly killed her. The world’s oldest mother is believed to be Indian woman Omkari Singh, who gave birth to twins at the age of 70 after selling her family’s buffalos, mortgaging their land, spending their life savings and taking out a loan. The girl died but the boy is her pride and joy.
Science and modern medicine can do wonderful things. They can reverse menopause and make grandmothers mothers, they can extend life and delay death, they can exploit desperate desire and make some doctors and IVF clinic owners a lot of money.
But they can’t make us sensible, ethical and unselfish. And they certainly can’t eradicate exhaustion and tiredness.
Here’s a different story about older mothers. It makes me feel touched and less confused.
Debrief Daily can confirm a 52-year-old Australian woman recently gave birth to her own grandchild. The child was created from the sperm of her son and the egg of her son’s boyfriend’s sister. The woman gave a selfless gift to her son and all went well, but the fathers are not keen to talk to the media. Her doctor has told us he has heard of similar cases. Indeed, a 61-year-old American, Kristine Casey, gave birth to her grandson for her daughter in 2001 and other grandmothers have done the same in the UK and India.
But as we push the age of childbirth older and older. It’s important to ask what’s behind the push, how far we should go … and for who.