When 34-year-old Nadya Suleman gave caesarean section birth to octuplets, at Kaiser Permanente Hospital, in California, early January 2009, the story quickly spread to the media as a miracle. The initial reaction, of this medical miracle, of eight babies, was astonishment. Then Nadya announced that the babies were conceived through vitro fertilization (IVF), “in which eggs and sperm are combined in the laboratory, creating embryos that are then transferred into the uterus” (Gerdes, Louise, 2010).
The celebration of the second set of octuplets born in the United States, in history, quickly changed when the public learned that Nadya was divorced and single, living with her financially stressed mom, unemployed, on public welfare, and already had six other children, also conceived the babies by vitro fertilization. Nadia was immediately labeled “Octomom” and faced international ridicule. (Gerdes, Louise, 2010). Public and professional opinions rose from all direction, as no one could believe a medical doctor would assist someone, in her position, to have even more children.
They also felt wanting to create more children was irresponsible, on her part, and questioned if the California taxpayers would be paying for the care of all of her children. (Johnston, Josephine, 2009). The birth of the eight babies has left Nadya Suleman’s life as a nightmare, and has also opened several doors for the medical field, questioning the bioethics of what took place. Accusations and opinions brought criticism of parents who try to make financial gains through their children. There is still great anger concerning the children’s well-being, and the competency of fertility doctors. (Shah, Kavita R.
and Batzer, Frances R. , 2009). A long list of medical, legal, and ethical issues rose to the top of the debate, because of the irregularities that currently exist for vitro fertilization, including the qualifications necessary to be involved in this process. The are major concerns of the well-being of the mother’s own life and the proper development of the babies, in the situation that Nadya Suleman presented (Johnston, Josephine, 2009). Should Nadya Suleman’s doctor approved the extensive treatments, possibly violating the guidelines, by implanting more than the “generally accepted number of embryos?
” (Hoppel, Ann M. , 2010). Is it fair to have allowed Nadya to continue having children, with the cost of raising a family, especially in today’s economic climate? (Hoppel, Ann M. , 2010). Nadya Suleman’s Background and History Nadya Suleman is suddenly in the media spotlight, and people wanted to know what kind of a person would be compelled to pursue acquiring such a large family of 14 children, living on welfare assistance. A quick look at Nadya’s life shows that she was born in Fullerton, California, as Natalie Denise Suleman, on July 11, 1975.
Nadya is the only child of father, Edward, a native of Iraq and a former Iraqi military man who is now a translator, and mother Angela Doud, a high school teacher. Her parents were married in Las Vegas in 1974, and divorced in 1999. She has lived in Los Angeles County her entire life. (Wikipedia, 2010). After graduating from La Puente High School, Nadya earned a psychiatric technician’s license, before working as a psychiatric technician, at Metropolitan State Hospital, a mental hospital in Norwalk, California. In 1999, Nadya acquired a back injury in a patient riot at the hospital and claimed disability, stating she was unable to work.
She later included chronic depression, and received a total of $160,000 in disability payments. With food stamps and disability money, she obtained a bachelor’s degree, from University of Fullerton, in Child and Adolescent Development. She was pursuing a master’s degree, when she became pregnant with the octuplets. (octomomma. com, 2009). Nadya has six other children, from two years old to seven years old, with one set of twins. All children were conceived through vitro fertilization. She was married from 1996 – 2008, to Marcos Gutierrez, and Gutierrez filed for divorce, in 2008, because they could not have children.
Nadya and Marcos remain respectful friends. (octomomma. com, 2009). Other than the disability claim, Nadya Suleman has not had any other legal issues. She is concerned about how she will provide for her children and losing custody of any or all of them. On January 26, 2010, the octuplets were one year old, and Octomom stays in the public’s eye, still receiving occasional death threats from the public. (Wikipedia, 2010). The issue of who will pay for the Suleman octuplets is still questionable, with the hospital bill running “from 1. 5 to 3 million dollars,” and “the cost of raising them even higher” (Gerdes, Louise, 2010).
To generate income, she has done a television interview with NBC’s Ann Curry, posed for photographs for Star Magazine, visited the Dr. Phil show, the Oprah Winfrey Show, and Idol Gives back. She is also working on a two-hour television show called “Octomom: The Incredible Unseen Footage,” with Fox. She has rejected plastic surgery, a reality television show, and Vivid Entertainment’s offers to appear in a pornographic movie, to pay off her bills. She also denies that her house is currently in foreclosure, scheduled to be auction off soon. In 2008, her parents filed bankruptcy, with over $1 million in debts.
(Wikipedia, 2010). In her future, she hopes to become a schoolteacher. Her interviews state that she never expected to be unemployed or be on government financial assistance. She has also stated she never expected have so many children, and is overwhelmed taking care of them, getting only a few hours of sleep every night. (Wikipedia, 2010). Dr. Kamrava’s Situation and Outcome Dr. Michael Kamrava is the fertility doctor who treated Nadya Suleman. A disciplinary complaint of “gross negligence” has been charged against Dr. Kamrava, by the California Medical Board, stating Dr.
Kamrava acted “beyond reasonable judgment by helping Nadya Suleman conceive octuplets” and implanted Suleman with a number of embryos “far in excess of the (American Society of Reproductive Medicine) recommendation and beyond the reasonable judgment of any treating physician” (lawprofessors. typepad. com, 2010). Dr. Kamrava said that, “after warning her of the risks associated with a multiple birth, he’d done as she asked” (Johnston, Josephine, 2009). Dr. Kamrava stated that Nadya Suleman insisted on the treatment she received and the transfer of all six remaining frozen embryos. It was her choice.
Since medical records are confidential, the public will never know how many embryos were transferred, and what actually occurred, with this situation. (Wikipedia, 2010). Since the octuplets were born, Dr. Kamrava’s West Coast IVF Clinic in Beverly Hills has received overwhelming criticism for their treatment, because American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) guidelines state “a woman Suleman’s age should have no more than two embryos implanted” (lawprofessors. typepad. com, 2010). “Dr. Michael Kamrava was expelled from the American Society for Reproductive Medicine in October 2009” (Wikipedia, 2010).
“A hearing date has not yet been set for the Medical Board complaint, which could see Kamrava’s license revoked or suspended” (lawprofessors. typepad. com, 2010). Bioethical Criticism of Nadya Suleman’s Dilemma The Suleman case opens other ethical questions that have not been considered, by fertility experts. Doctors are now seeing serious drawbacks and requirements for more stringent rules, where guidelines were never defined. (Gerdes, Louise, 2010). There are numerous bioethical considerations that must now be considered, in the treatment of fertility, through vitro fertilization.
Nadya Suleman’s case has brought the issue to the forefront as never before. The issues are understandable, and can be listed as follows: 1. The most important issue in reproductive technology is the preventative risk to both the mother and babies. The unnatural act of fertilization puts the women at risk of carrying unnatural numbers of fetus, leading to “anemia, blood clots, hypertension, and labor complications” that must be carefully considered. Other issues to consider, when there are cases of multiple babies, include “seizures, jaundice, heart problems, lung problems, blindness, and development delays” (Gerdes, Louise, 2010).
2. Customer seeking repeated fertility treatments should be referred to a mental health professional, for consultation. (lawprofessors. typepad. com, 2010). 3. Future regulations must e developed fertility industry guidelines that may or may not include government regulations. Some ethicists admit the growth of infertility field is a high-profit industry and poorly monitored; it is a huge problem. (Gerdes, Louise, 2010). 4. Extensive consideration should be given to the parent/s considering fertility procedures, to ensure their financial stability, both emotionally and economically.
This should not become an economic issue, where the government eventually pays for the children, in times of economic stress. Designations need to be made who will pay for the hospital bills. (Gerdes, Louise, 2010). 5. Who has the disposition authority of embryos needs to be more clearly defined. This is still a hot issue, with bioethics. (Johnston, Josephine, 2009). 6. Finally, what is the physician’s responsibility, both legally, and morally? At what point should the physician refuse to perform what the patient demands? There is clearly information that shows Nadya’s physician should have turned her down, rather than comply to her requests.
(Johnston, Josephine, 2009). Summary and Overview Several suggestions have been made to resolve future bioethical issues that develop from Nadya Suleman’s case. First, if infertility treatments were included in all insurance coverage, details would be monitored more closely, and potential problems may not occur. In addition, checkpoints at various levels of professional organizations and licensing could curb inappropriate professional behaviors and could assist those physicians having problems with existing issues, instead of forcing the physician to struggle with compromising choices. (Shah, Kavita R.
and Batzer, Frances R. , 2009). Nadya Suleman’s unacceptable fertility case brought a greater awareness of medical and bioethical issues that now need to be addressed. It is clear that the birth of Nadya Suleman’s octuplets revealed there is a need for more defined, exact boundaries, in reproductive medicine. Better ground-floor medical and bioethical rules need to be developed and followed. Physicians need exact resolutions, readily available to them, to make questionable decisions. There is still a lot of work to be done to prevent the bioethical issue that happened with Nadya Suleman.
The goal is better definitions and boundaries, as well as closer monitoring, to enable the medical fertility industry a more bioethical solution. Works Cited Gerdes, Louise. “Introduction to Reproductive Technologies: At Issue. ” 2010. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Detroit: Greenhaven Press. Retrieved 8/3/2010 from http://find. galegroup. com/gps/infomark. do? &contentSet=GSRC&type=retrieve&tabID=T001&prodId=IPS&docId=EJ3010328109&source=gale&srcprod=OVRC&userGroupName=ranc91821&version=1. 0. Hoppel, Ann M. “Ethics and the Octomom. ” 2009. Clinician Reviews. Retrieved 8/3/2010 from http://find. galegroup.
com/gps/infomark. do? &contentSet=IAC-Documents&type=retrieve&tabID=T002&prodId=IPS&docId=A197665751&source=gale&srcprod=ITOF&userGroupName=ranc91821&version=1. 0. Johnston, Josephine. “Judging Octomom. ” 2009. The Hastings Center Report. Retrieved 8/3/2010 from http://find. galegroup. com/gps/infomark. do? &contentSet=IAC-Documents&type=retrieve&tabID=T002&prodId=IPS&docId=A220561059&source=gale&srcprod=ITOF&userGroupName=ranc91821&version=1. 0. Lawprofessors. typepad. com. “Nadya Suleman’s Doctor Accused of “Gross Negligence” in Disciplinary Complaint. ”
1/4/2010. Retrieved 8/3/2010 from http://lawprofessors typepad. com/reproductive_rights/2010/01/nadya-sulemans-doctor-accused-of-gross-negligence-in-disciplinary-complaint. html. Octomamma. com. “The Octomom’s Background. ” 3/3/2009. Nadya Suleman Bio. Retrieved 8/3/2010 from . Shah, Kavita R. and Batzer, Frances R. “Responsible Use of Assisted Reproductive Technologies Should Protect Women’s Rights. ” 3/19/2009. Reproductive Freedom. Retrieved 8/3/2010 from http://www. scienceprogress. org/2009/03/reproductive-freedom. Works Cited (Continued) Wikipedia. com. “Nadya Suleman. ” 2010. Retrieved 8/2/2/10 from http://en. wikipedia. org/ wiki/Nadya_Suleman.