Thursday, July 16, 2009

Height of irresponsibility

There was sad news out of Spain this week. Two children were orphaned at the age of 3, and the biggest shame is that it wouldn’t have happened if anyone involved had shown a shred of responsibility. Maria del Carmen Bousada died Saturday at the age of 69. You’re probably never heard of her. I hadn’t. What made her death newsworthy was that three years ago, Bousada, with the help of a fertility clinic in Los Angeles (Where else?), gave birth to twins. First, one would expect a woman in her mid-60s who was thinking about undergoing in vitro fertilization to have had enough sense to say no. But the Earth is chock full of stupid, self-centered people. At that point, it should have been up to the fertility clinic to display some ethical standards and employ some safeguards against this sort of thing happening. But Bousada said she told Pacific Fertility Center that she was 55, which apparently was the clinic’s maximum age for treating single women. And she said the clinic never asked for identification. You can see Bousada’s photo here. Ray Charles could have recognized that she was over 55 just by feeling her face. But this really shouldn’t surprise us. Look at the Octomom, a clearly deranged woman who was able to find professional help to increase her brood by eight. And will anyone among us be shocked when it comes out that Michael Jackson’s home was a virtual pharmacy, stocked with the help of doctors only too glad to look the other way? It seems the almighty dollar speaks very loudly, easily drowning out the ancient voice of Hippocrates. The central question in Bousada’s case might be, why did she do it? And the answer is: because she wanted to. “I think everyone should become a mother at the right time for them,” the woman said in a 2007 interview. “That was the only way to achieve the thing I had always dreamed of, and I did it.” I, I, I. It was all about her, of course. Now she’s dead, and the children will have little or no recollection of their mother. What about the father? Well, good luck throwing catch in the backyard with a test tube.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonder why she didn't adopt?

I glanced at the obit, and I didn't see a cause of death. Did you see one?

--Brad Hundt

July 16, 2009 at 2:59 PM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

I think it was the deadly combination of 3 year old twins and being 69 years old...

July 16, 2009 at 3:19 PM  
Anonymous the anonymous one said...

I'm a 33 yr old father of twin daughters..7 years old. THIS LADY DIDN'T HAVE A CHANCE!

July 16, 2009 at 3:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree -- me, me, me, and probably without a thought to the welfare of the kids after her inevitable -- and in her case, soon -- death. I hope she had a huge life insurance policy.

July 16, 2009 at 3:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe she died of cancer. I hope whoever raises the twins now is much younger.

July 16, 2009 at 9:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome to the slippery slope! When we feel that we can create life in a test tube, these are the inevitable outcomes.

Other than her age, how is this woman different than any other woman seeking in vitro? Would not the same "I,I,I" apply to anyone trying to have a child outside of the normal, time-tested manner?

As far as this woman's death, younger mothers get cancer (and other things) and die as well. Does that make them irresponsible?

Who gets to decide the ethics aroung this issue? Why should this woman be subject to your set of standards? It is her body, after all...

Your comments against this womam amount to nothing more than age discrimination.

July 17, 2009 at 2:23 PM  
Blogger Lori said...

I became a mom for a second round at 43 and then again at 44. I love the babies dearly but I don't have the energy or patience I did with my first three when I was in my 20's. 69? Well, it's been said, the almighty dollar over ruled good ethics and common sense. Too sad for the babies.

July 17, 2009 at 2:41 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

Anonymous, this is all about the age of the mother. Saying that "Other than age, how is this different from any other woman seeking in vitro?" is like saying "Other than that assassination, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?" Thirty-year-old mothers do, indeed, die sometimes, but not at nearly the rate of 69-year-old mothers. It's about probability. And when you ask why this woman should be subject to ethical standards and that it's her body, I assume you're in favor of allowing women to have abortions whenever they please.

July 17, 2009 at 3:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To have a baby when you're damn near sure to die within 15 years is the ultimate act of narcissism.

July 17, 2009 at 5:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brant, my point was perhaps not well made. If you are in favor of the "it's my body" and how nobody has te right to tell a woman what to do, then how is this woman having babies at her age any different?

I cannot fathom why this woman would want to have babies at her age. I equally cannot imagine taking the life of an unborn baby.

I am opposed to abortion, and quite frankly I am opposed to in vitro fertilization. These are some of the issues that result.

July 17, 2009 at 9:43 PM  
Blogger Dale Lolley said...

Anonymous actually has a point there.
If we're going to say all abortions are OK because they're up to the mother to choose what to do with her body, then 70-year-old women choosing to have a baby must be OK too. It's her body, after all.

July 18, 2009 at 8:25 PM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

I think that getting drunk having unprotected sex is irresponsible, but I wouldn't ban abortion.

I think that drinking and driving is irresponsible, but I wouldn't ban alcohol.

I think having a baby implanted in you at age 66 is retarded, but I wouldn't ban in vitro fertilization.

July 18, 2009 at 8:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can do with your body what you want -- smoke, overeat, take drugs, get pregnant at whatever age suits you. That doesn't make any of these actions particularly smart.

July 19, 2009 at 1:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon, July 17, 9:43; Yes, you are right to point out the dichotomy in their arguments. "It is my body" works for them in advancing the abortion position, but it seems not to work in the case of the older woman having a child.

Quote: To have a baby when you're damn near sure to die within 15 years is the ultimate act of narcissism.

Exactly the same statement could be said for most cases of abortion, just substitute the words a bit differently, "To have an abortion when you fully capable of carrying a baby to full term for delivery is the ultimate act of narcissism." "... control over my own body" works for some cases, but not others, ... or so it seems for some folks.

July 20, 2009 at 6:50 AM  
Blogger Brant said...

As Ellipses noted, it's stupid to use abortion as birth control because you can't take proper precautions, and it's stupid to have a baby in your mid-60s, but I don't think either abortion or in vitro fertilization should be outlawed.

July 20, 2009 at 7:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brant, do you ridicule those that have abortions? No, you hold the invitro to a higher standard, that is the reason it is being used in an argument against your position.

July 20, 2009 at 9:14 AM  
Blogger Brant said...

Do you have a reading comprehension problem? I just said - and I quote - It's stupid to use abortion as birth control because you can't take proper precautions. Reading is fundamental.

July 20, 2009 at 9:59 AM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

I also can't remember the last time a woman was "celebrated" for having a whole bunch of abortions... Sure, there is always a critical side to stories about old women having babies... but for the most part, it's kinda like George HW Bush skydiving on his birthday every year... Like "he's old, but he still has spunk!"

Because, you know... you can't really hide the fact that you are a pregnant geriatric... but you can have a bunch of abortions without anyone being the wiser... therefore, it sure is a lot easier to ridicule wrinkly old women who pay people to knock them up because they are a lot more visible than scared young women who pay people to un-knock them up.

So, on abortion, we condemn broadly... but on elderly in-vitro, we condemn specifically.

July 20, 2009 at 10:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Both are repulsive in society, abortion because it insults our common sense about conception; in vitro to the elderly because it is one of the highest forms of selfishness and egotism. Both are backed by our courts.

This woman knew she would not live long enough past her delivery to be what those children need most: a mother. No law against that.

Our courts are just as bad when it comes to abortion. Life starts when sperms meets egg. It does not begin at birth. Otherwise, during delivery, when the head comes out, you have 10 percent of a human, the shoulders, 20 percent, etc.

I would respect people more who said "I want an abortion because I don't want to be a mother." At least there is honesty in that.

July 21, 2009 at 1:34 PM  

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