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marfknox
SFN Die Hard

USA
3739 Posts

Posted - 08/02/2006 :  15:41:08  Show Profile  Visit marfknox's Homepage  Send marfknox an AOL message Send marfknox a Private Message
I just read this story from the Humanist News Network:

http://www.humaniststudies.org/enews/?id=254&article=3

quote:
A 62-year-old woman became Britain's oldest mother, and one of the oldest in the world, on July 5 when she gave birth to a baby boy. Patti Farrant, a child psychiatrist, underwent fertility treatment abroad in order to fulfill her 60-year-old husband's dreams of becoming a father. Farrant used in vitro fertilization techniques and a donated egg to get pregnant. The healthy baby weighed six pounds, 10 ounces.
The article mentioned how the woman had to get treatments in Russia because Britain has gone as far as outlawing fertility treatments for women past natural childbearing.

I listened to a debate about it a while ago on an NPR news show where they featured a doctor for and a doctor against these treatments being used on women past menopause. No surprise, the doctor supporting it was a woman (just like the doc who wrote the HNN story) and argued that as long as the woman was in good health, there was no reason why women in their 50's and early 60's shouldn't go ahead and have a baby. The male doctor against it basically used the argument that it was unecessary and potential dangerous (gee, like plastic surgery? That's legal!) As anyone can tell by now, I side with keeping it legal and a matter between a woman and her doctor (and her husband if she's married.) After all, people are living a lot longer on average than they used to, and if the woman is old and in not good health, I would rather trust doctors to be responsible and refuse to do the treatments instead of denying the treatments to healthy women candidates.

Other thoughts?

"Too much certainty and clarity could lead to cruel intolerance" -Karen Armstrong

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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 08/02/2006 :  16:41:56   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message
Certainly, we are not (yet) in a situation where people, even those who could afford it, are near-immortals. But medical science has been advancing the years we can live. Unless some very good reason is proven not to have children after traditional childbearing years, I support this as a personal choice. However, consideration should be made as to just how well, and how long, elderly parents can care for a child. This woman will be eighty (if she is lucky) when the child become eighteen. Does she have alternative parents lined up (perhaps her own grandchildren), preferably already helping in childcare, and ready to take over parenting in a smooth transition when she herself becomes frail or dies?

I can envision a time, perhaps in few decades, when age will mean little aside from accumulated experience, at least for the affluent. We're not there yet.


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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JohnOAS
SFN Regular

Australia
800 Posts

Posted - 08/03/2006 :  06:41:50   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit JohnOAS's Homepage Send JohnOAS a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by marfknox

http://www.humaniststudies.org/enews/?id=254&article=3

Other thoughts?


I think there are definitely serious issues which need to be considered when deciding to become parents at an "advanced" age. I believe, however, that this is one of those areas where legislation really isn't helpful.

I often feel, in principle at least, there should be some sort of test before anyone becomes a parent, but I understand that there is no practical means for doing so, and no truly justifiable way to set the requirements.

John's just this guy, you know.
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Siberia
SFN Addict

Brazil
2322 Posts

Posted - 08/03/2006 :  07:03:40   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Siberia's Homepage  Send Siberia an AOL message  Send Siberia a Yahoo! Message Send Siberia a Private Message
Well. My most visceral feelings are viciously opposed to any fertility treatment at all (as if we needed more humans over this rock), but since it's allowed, why not for older women as well? As long as the kid's got the care it must, what does it matter?

"Why are you afraid of something you're not even sure exists?"
- The Kovenant, Via Negativa

"People who don't like their beliefs being laughed at shouldn't have such funny beliefs."
-- unknown
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13470 Posts

Posted - 08/03/2006 :  08:26:39   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message
To echo a few of Mooner's concerns. And it might be worth noting that neither of us are spring chickens…

As a parent in my mid fifties with a teenager I can honestly say I wish I had the energy and the patients I had when I was younger. But there is light at the end of this tunnel. He is, after all, a senior in high school.

I would not oppose any woman's wish to have a baby at an advanced age. I would however hope that she well thought out what she was in for in terms of what is best for the child. Parenting is as hard a job as any I have done and it isn't one you get to walk away from when you get tired. As rewarding as it is, the demands of parenting only increase as the child gets older. And as the child gets older, so does the parent. Not a problem with young parents, but, at least from my point of view, I can only imagine what it would be like to be parenting a teenager while in my eighties in terms of having the energy required for such an endeavor. Perhaps being rich would be helpful. Or having a lot of family for support…

Of course, lots of grand parents have taken over the job of parenting for one reason or another successfully, so I don't rule out that it can't be done. It just must be very well thought out…

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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Ricky
SFN Die Hard

USA
4907 Posts

Posted - 08/03/2006 :  09:16:57   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Ricky an AOL message Send Ricky a Private Message
quote:
After all, people are living a lot longer on average than they used to, and if the woman is old and in not good health, I would rather trust doctors to be responsible and refuse to do the treatments instead of denying the treatments to healthy women candidates.


I would bet that if a woman went to enough places, she would find a doctor who would do it not matter what state of health she is in. Doctors are humans just like all of us, and sometimes they let money get the better of them.

But I think that even if the woman is endangered by giving birth, as long as she knows the full risks to her health and has carefully thought out the entire thing, then it should be allowed. If you want to "run with scissors", so to speak, be my guest.

What I would find extremely funny though is if a woman got this procedure, then got an abortion just to piss of the fundamentalist Christians.

Why continue? Because we must. Because we have the call. Because it is nobler to fight for rationality without winning than to give up in the face of continued defeats. Because whatever true progress humanity makes is through the rationality of the occasional individual and because any one individual we may win for the cause may do more for humanity than a hundred thousand who hug their superstitions to their breast.
- Isaac Asimov
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marfknox
SFN Die Hard

USA
3739 Posts

Posted - 08/10/2006 :  14:05:08   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit marfknox's Homepage  Send marfknox an AOL message Send marfknox a Private Message
Ricky wrote:
quote:

I would bet that if a woman went to enough places, she would find a doctor who would do it not matter what state of health she is in. Doctors are humans just like all of us, and sometimes they let money get the better of them.
While that is true in some cases, such as with prescribing antibiotics, it is not true across the board regarding all issues, especially ones this important. Social moral codes do affect doctors. For example 4 of my friends (2 women, 2 men) have each gone to several doctors pleading to get an opperation so they are unable to have children. All four of these friends of mine decided years ago that they never wanted to have children. But every doctor they went to refused, saying they were too young (in their twenties, including late twenties) and insisting that they might change their mind. Doctors don't just like money, they fear being sued for malpractice. If a woman much over 60 and/or in less-than-perfect health was seeking fertility treatments, the doctors would be just as concerned about accusations of malpractice as they would be interested in making money.

"Too much certainty and clarity could lead to cruel intolerance" -Karen Armstrong

Check out my art store: http://www.marfknox.etsy.com

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Original_Intent
SFN Regular

USA
609 Posts

Posted - 08/11/2006 :  04:57:17   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Original_Intent a Private Message
Ludicrous.....

Maybe if the want-to-be mother can afford to have 5 million tied up in a medical trust fund to pay for her future care if something goes wrong. Why should my insurance and taxes go up for her vanity. Goes for unneccessary (vanity) plastic surgery as well.

While life expectancy has advanced, quality of life expectancy does not keep pace. There are entire wards in hospitals in every city where they have been able to keep people alive for years on vents. Nursing homes are filled with people who are gorked out and being fed through a g-tube.

Although people like to complain about drug companies making the cost of medicine rise, it is not them alone. More people mean more nurses.........

A higher demand for nurses, especially when so many people are realizing what a shitty, thankless job it can be leads to increased pay for nurses, and high nurse turnover.

It is offset a bit by nurse-aids, a majority of who are pretty pathetic. And now, they want to give some aids the ability to pass medicine........

Back to the old mother. If she wants to "run with scissors" then she needs to be responsble enough to burden the result without help. Insurance and tax assistance are there for people who trip and fall.. but not when they are walking on a tight-rope.

Joe

The Circus of Carnage... because you should be able to deal with politicians like you do pissant noobs.
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beskeptigal
SFN Die Hard

USA
3834 Posts

Posted - 08/13/2006 :  22:39:07   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send beskeptigal a Private Message
I have a friend who just turned 80 and you would think she was 50 at most. My Mom is 78 and closer to being disabled with increasing dementia. My sister-in-law died suddenly a year ago at the age of 44. She had an 11 year old daughter. You just can't use some age cut off to judge people. There is a lot of variation in the world.

I am also an older parent of a teenager and I think I have advantages of knowing more than a younger mother. I don't expect to be dieing off anytime soon.
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marfknox
SFN Die Hard

USA
3739 Posts

Posted - 08/14/2006 :  00:16:35   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit marfknox's Homepage  Send marfknox an AOL message Send marfknox a Private Message
Original Intent wrote:
quote:
Back to the old mother. If she wants to "run with scissors" then she needs to be responsble enough to burden the result without help. Insurance and tax assistance are there for people who trip and fall.. but not when they are walking on a tight-rope.
So exactly what are you advocating? That it be only legal for rich and upper middle class women to have this procedure done?

Frankly, your concerns about it costing so much to the public are absurd. How many 60+ women do you think want to have a baby? And no even slightly ethical doctor is going to allow an unhealthy older woman to have the procedure done. So, really, what are you bitching about?

"Too much certainty and clarity could lead to cruel intolerance" -Karen Armstrong

Check out my art store: http://www.marfknox.etsy.com

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BigPapaSmurf
SFN Die Hard

3192 Posts

Posted - 08/14/2006 :  10:21:20   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send BigPapaSmurf a Private Message
They can just go to Mexico.

"...things I have neither seen nor experienced nor heard tell of from anybody else; things, what is more, that do not in fact exist and could not ever exist at all. So my readers must not believe a word I say." -Lucian on his book True History

"...They accept such things on faith alone, without any evidence. So if a fraudulent and cunning person who knows how to take advantage of a situation comes among them, he can make himself rich in a short time." -Lucian critical of early Christians c.166 AD From his book, De Morte Peregrini
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Original_Intent
SFN Regular

USA
609 Posts

Posted - 08/14/2006 :  14:03:36   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Original_Intent a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by marfknox

Original Intent wrote:
quote:
Back to the old mother. If she wants to "run with scissors" then she needs to be responsble enough to burden the result without help. Insurance and tax assistance are there for people who trip and fall.. but not when they are walking on a tight-rope.
So exactly what are you advocating? That it be only legal for rich and upper middle class women to have this procedure done?

Frankly, your concerns about it costing so much to the public are absurd. How many 60+ women do you think want to have a baby? And no even slightly ethical doctor is going to allow an unhealthy older woman to have the procedure done. So, really, what are you bitching about?



What is absurd? Medical resources, at least here on planet earth, are finite. What dream world are you living in where there are only ethical doctors? There should be no public assistance for vanity such as this.

Personally I find it highly unnatural, but too each his/her own, as long as they can bare the burden themselves. So yes, if they can afford to do it without assistance, then let them go for it. One 60 year old having the procedurs and ending up diverting the funds from someone who could really use it is too much.

Joe

The Circus of Carnage... because you should be able to deal with politicians like you do pissant noobs.
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JohnOAS
SFN Regular

Australia
800 Posts

Posted - 08/14/2006 :  18:42:30   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit JohnOAS's Homepage Send JohnOAS a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Original_Intent
Personally I find it highly unnatural, but too each his/her own, as long as they can bare the burden themselves. So yes, if they can afford to do it without assistance, then let them go for it. One 60 year old having the procedurs and ending up diverting the funds from someone who could really use it is too much.

But there's the rub, you have a couple of arbitrary lines to draw:

1. Where's the age line? If it's 60, you could find plenty of 60+ women who might be good candidates, and plenty <60 who won't be?

2. What is "natural"? Modern medicine is very rarely "natural", should we go back to "natural" life expectancies of 30-40? (or less, depending on how "natural" you want to go.


John's just this guy, you know.
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marfknox
SFN Die Hard

USA
3739 Posts

Posted - 08/14/2006 :  18:47:26   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit marfknox's Homepage  Send marfknox an AOL message Send marfknox a Private Message
Original Intent wrote:
quote:
What is absurd? Medical resources, at least here on planet earth, are finite. What dream world are you living in where there are only ethical doctors? There should be no public assistance for vanity such as this.
Who advocated tax dollars going toward the procedure? The discussion was whether the procedure should be legal at all. That is why your post confused me.

quote:
Personally I find it highly unnatural,
Lots of things that improve the human condition are highly unnatural. Natural is not necessary desirable by human standards.


"Too much certainty and clarity could lead to cruel intolerance" -Karen Armstrong

Check out my art store: http://www.marfknox.etsy.com

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marfknox
SFN Die Hard

USA
3739 Posts

Posted - 08/14/2006 :  18:50:37   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit marfknox's Homepage  Send marfknox an AOL message Send marfknox a Private Message
As for ethical doctors - few doctors would agree to do this procedure on a woman who is both older and has health problems because they would not want to be sued later for malpractice. This is why I phrased it as "any even slightly ethical doctor". I don't recall ever stating that all doctors are ethical, only that there is no sign of a rush of old ladies to the fertility clinics. I think we have bigger problems with tax spending to worry about.

"Too much certainty and clarity could lead to cruel intolerance" -Karen Armstrong

Check out my art store: http://www.marfknox.etsy.com

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Original_Intent
SFN Regular

USA
609 Posts

Posted - 08/15/2006 :  20:10:31   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Original_Intent a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by JohnOAS

quote:
Originally posted by Original_Intent
Personally I find it highly unnatural, but too each his/her own, as long as they can bare the burden themselves. So yes, if they can afford to do it without assistance, then let them go for it. One 60 year old having the procedurs and ending up diverting the funds from someone who could really use it is too much.

But there's the rub, you have a couple of arbitrary lines to draw:

1. Where's the age line? If it's 60, you could find plenty of 60+ women who might be good candidates, and plenty <60 who won't be?

2. What is "natural"? Modern medicine is very rarely "natural", should we go back to "natural" life expectancies of 30-40? (or less, depending on how "natural" you want to go.





Nothing arbitray to it. If they are bloody 70 and can afford it, that's fine with me. Again, I find it unnatural, but to each their own.
I find modern medicine to be both extremely wonderful, and extremely sad. What I consider natural, others do not.

The Circus of Carnage... because you should be able to deal with politicians like you do pissant noobs.
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