This has me up in arms. Tell me I am not alone here. I'm like, 5 kinds of annoyed by this.
What does the general public think when they heard this? It's easy to have higher order- multiples? Fertility treatments do this to people? It just misinforms so many people on so many levels.
Media treatment of the story: It's all the "happy ending" crap. No real talk of the risks. No mention of all the other higher-order pregnancies that didn't make it. The fact that these are only the 2nd in history to be born alive should tell ya something about the level of risk. But no, let's just gloss over that.
No mention of how they got pregnant with multiples. Of course, we all assume it was ART but why not say so and what procedure? Not to be voyeuristic but because these are important factors that the public should understand.
Leads to judgment of people doing ART. Ok so 99% of the public will think this is due to IVF. When anyone with any knowledge of infertility realized it was probably an IUI. Again with misinformation. "Yes, I did IVF. No, I am not at risk of having 5 babies at once." I think it does lead to the general public having a bad impression of IVF. There have already been a few state attempts to restrict IVF practices. This type of irresponsible case prompts legislators to get on a high horse against legitimate IVF procedures and the general public to agree.
Medical malpractice. OK this is where I really hit the ceiling. What kind of Dr. goes ahead with an IUI when there are at least 8 mature follicles? He/She should have their license revoked. Unless you are proven to be a person with really low egg quality, going forward with more than 3 or 4 follicles is medically negligent. I realize I do not have all the information to say this. I'm just going on what is the most likely scenario because as stated above, they have not released any information on how the children were conceived. So I feel free to speculate.
Parental negligence #1: As a patient you have the responsibility to understand your treatment. You are no longer making decisions for yourself you are making them for your future children. And right off the bat you made a decision that puts your children at significant risk. Remember, only the 2nd in history to be born alive.
Parental Negligence #2: Ok here is where I get controversial but it's my blog so if you disagree go write your own post. I'm not pro-reduction. That silly. Nobody is pro-reduction but it has a legitimate medical purpose. If one is opposed to reduction then why on earth would you allow yourself to be inseminated with so many follicles? If you don't want a reduction then you should not put yourself in the position of carrying more children than is medically safe.
Effects how people think about reduction: There are woman who have chosen to reduce for various reasons. I imagine all of them were medically necessary and not done as a lark or becasue it was convenient. For each and every one of them it was an agonizing decision. I can imagine that this case makes their decision even harder. I can imagine a couple suddenly doubting their decision. I can imagine the general public judging people who choose reduction based on this one, statistically anomalous case.
I guess that is 8 kinds of annoyed. (I swear I didn't plan that...it's just how it turned out.
I think the RE (or OB) who got her pregnant and the parents themselves are the most at blame but I also blame the media for making this a feel-good story. Yes, they all survived the birth but I find the whole thing socially irresponsible. I realize that the parents have every right to make these decisions for themselves and are under no obligation to explain them to me or anyone else. But their actions have an impact beyond their own family.
Of course, I am happy for the parents and amazed at the Drs. who cared for her and delivered these babies. If I ever have a high risk pregnancy I know who to call. I'll be hoping those 8 tiny babies make it through the many, many hurdles they have ahead of them.
That, to me, is the most annoying thing about this story. It becomes a 30 second news story while these babies have a battle ahead of them. Perhaps a life long battle. Yes, they were born alive and are doing better than expected but anyone who knows anything about premature babies knows how quickly all that can change. I'm certainly keeping them in my prayers.
And I hate to end this on a snarky note but I can't help wondering what their reality show will be called.