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[P]
62-year old French Woman Gives Birth

By QuoteMstr in News
Tue Jun 05, 2001 at 04:17:03 PM EST
Tags: You Know... (all tags)
You Know...

BBC News reports that after in-vitro fertilization in the United States, a 62-year French woman gave birth. There are French laws restricting in-vitro fertilization to people of normal reproductive age, but one can go abroad. This brings up some interesting ethical issues? Should it be legal to do this? Is it ethical for a doctor to use this procedure on someone so old? It is dangerous to people of that age due to blood loss and high blood pressure.


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62-year old French Woman Gives Birth | 36 comments (27 topical, 9 editorial, 0 hidden)
great! (4.08 / 12) (#2)
by Seumas on Fri Jun 01, 2001 at 10:43:00 PM EST

This will be wonderful! If the woman lives to a normal age (female life expectency in the US at least), the kid will have to suffer the death of his or her mother by their sixteenth birthday. Certainly a healthy and non-impacting event for every teenager to go through!

And bringing mom to the PTA meetings and parent's night at school wearing her depends and three-inch thick bifocals will be a blast! What a lucky kid!
--
I just read K5 for the articles.

Yeah, great (4.00 / 3) (#6)
by meersan on Sat Jun 02, 2001 at 10:54:57 AM EST

It is unfair to criticise this woman for giving birth at the age of 62 when men at similar or greater ages have children without experiencing similar criticism. Their children are even more likely to experience the death of their parent because women have a significantly longer lifespan than men.

[ Parent ]
apples and oranges (4.33 / 3) (#13)
by Seumas on Sat Jun 02, 2001 at 06:32:56 PM EST

Most men produce offspring naturally at greater ages. Saying it is "unfair" is just rediculous. Obviously, nature doesn't have much of a problem with it. A 62 year old woman on the other hand, required medical assistance to be able to become pregnant.
--
I just read K5 for the articles.
[ Parent ]
Not apples and oranges (none / 0) (#26)
by meersan on Mon Jun 04, 2001 at 11:42:05 AM EST

Saying it is "unfair" is just rediculous [SIC].

The unfair item to which I was referring was the criticism of this woman's giving birth, not the fact that men remain fertile at later ages than women do. It seems you have misconstrued my comment; I apologize if it was unclear to you.



[ Parent ]
you twat (3.57 / 7) (#24)
by streetlawyer on Mon Jun 04, 2001 at 03:58:10 AM EST

This will be wonderful! If the woman lives to a normal age (female life expectency in the US at least), the kid will have to suffer the death of his or her mother by their sixteenth birthday. Certainly a healthy and non-impacting event for every teenager to go through!

And bringing mom to the PTA meetings and parent's night at school wearing her depends and three-inch thick bifocals will be a blast! What a lucky kid!

Do you honestly think that nobody in the history of the world has been brought up by their grandparents?

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

"you twat" -- beautiful title (4.00 / 2) (#29)
by Locke on Tue Jun 05, 2001 at 02:54:59 PM EST

If you wonder why I modded your comment 1, it really irks me that you preface a reasonable comment with "you twat".

While the OP may have been a little crass he certaintly didn't seem to be insulting grandparents who happen to be children's guardians or people raised by their grandparents.

Further, there is--in my mind, anyway--a big difference between a parent intentionally bringing a child into the world at that age and a grandparent becoming the guardian of a child who's parents are unavailable or unfit for whatever reason. The former act seems potentially cruel while the latter is more likely an act of compassion or kindness.

[ Parent ]
The right to have a child (4.25 / 8) (#3)
by Jive Billy on Sat Jun 02, 2001 at 01:32:56 AM EST

I would love a society where certain people were not allowed to birth children, be it from old age, stupidity, or drug use. Regardless of my viewpoint, I think that you'll find the majority of people will object when told "here's a list of people who can't have children."

If a doped-up crack whore is allowed to birth a child, a healthy 62 year old is not exactly the first person I'd put at the top of my "not allowed to have children" list!

that's the quandry (4.00 / 1) (#4)
by Seumas on Sat Jun 02, 2001 at 06:46:30 AM EST

France is welcome to make whatever decisions they wish over their citizens, but I'll speak from a more "American" point of view, since we've had this exact same issue come up several times.

That is the quandry. Do you let people do as they wish to excersize relative freedom or do you begin to control (as we already have) aspects of their lives with the understanding that aspects of your own life may some day come to be judged and forbidden?

We have to realize that with freedom comes the right to make stupid decisions and stupid choices. And if we also wish to have a largely socialist system (which America does) we also have to be willing to accept responsibility for those stupid decisions. It's certainly a double-edged sword, but we can't have both a socialist system and free will if we're not willing to accomodate the idiots and their decisions.
--
I just read K5 for the articles.
[ Parent ]

Priorities? (4.50 / 2) (#23)
by Tatarigami on Mon Jun 04, 2001 at 12:52:48 AM EST

Yeah, seems odd that most Western countries have laws regulating who can or can't own a pet and under what conditions, but anyone's free to have a kid.

[ Parent ]
I seem to remember... (5.00 / 1) (#8)
by John Milton on Sat Jun 02, 2001 at 02:43:01 PM EST

My french teacher told me that you couldn't paint your house odd colours, because that was regulated in France. She also said that you couldn't name your child anything you wanted. You had to get it approved first. Is this right or wrong? I don't think I'd like to live there if it is true. The government should leave people alone when they aren't doing anything to hurt someone else.


"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton


Regulated Naming (3.00 / 2) (#9)
by kubalaa on Sat Jun 02, 2001 at 03:08:08 PM EST

Germany does the same thing. It does sound pretty fascist to American thinking, but I think it's reasonable. Your child is not your property, and you shouldn't be allowed to screw with their life by giving them a stupid name. The naming regulations are pretty reasonable; they're just there to keep you from naming your kid "Fuckwad Jones" or "Moonunit" and getting them beat up every day.

Same for the house-painting. It follows "your right to swing your fist stops at the end of my nose." Other people have to see your house, and nobody should be forced into conniptions because you think puse, gold, and hot pink is an acceptable exterior color scheme (note that you can paint the inside of your house however you want).

At the same time, I think the direction this is heading of trying to eliminate everything offensive from public consumption is bad. Learning to figuratively get hit in the nose a few times is necessary for developing an open mind, and I think the French may have some problems in that area.

[ Parent ]

child naming (5.00 / 2) (#11)
by John Milton on Sat Jun 02, 2001 at 04:05:39 PM EST

The naming thing would really bother me. If I ever have kids, I want to pick the most unique names I can for them. Not anything cruel, just interesting. They'll probably hate me anyways. I should at least give them a good reason.


"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton


[ Parent ]
Person Naming (5.00 / 1) (#12)
by localroger on Sat Jun 02, 2001 at 05:09:35 PM EST

Your child is not your property, and you shouldn't be allowed to screw with their life by giving them a stupid name. The naming regulations are pretty reasonable; they're just there to keep you from naming your kid "Fuckwad Jones" or "Moonunit" and getting them beat up every day.

Or, I suppose, like the young lady my father had for a student one year. Her family name was Hooker, and parents who were probably high on coke (crack had not been introduced widely yet) had named her Ima.

OTOH under Common Law (applicable in the Commonwealth, all of USA except Louisiana, and for the most part in Louisiana too since 1972) you can change your name at any time just by using a different one. It's not unusual for grown men running for political office to still be addressed as "Boomer" or "Sixty," legacy of childhood nicknaming that de facto accomplishes the same thing. So I don't think a law is necessary to keep your parents from naming you Moon Unit. You can always insist that everyone call you something else.

The law is not an appropriate tool for this particular purpose.

I can haz blog!
[ Parent ]

Poland's the same (none / 0) (#22)
by cezarg on Sun Jun 03, 2001 at 11:06:06 PM EST

In Poland there is a law that prohibits giving your child a name that is either offensive, a joke name or contrary to their gender. I think the last point is extremely well thought out. There are just too many parents fucked up in their heads that decide to name their boys "Michelle" just because they were hoping for a daughter. Or like another poster said in another article, it stops stupid hippies that want to name their girls "Rainbow". In the US those poor kids have to go through a stream of ridicule until they are old enough to be able to legally change their names.

As for painting houses (on the outside) the same is true for Britain. To make any changes to your building you need to seek the approval of the local council. They ensure that the modifications are safe and that they go well with the general look'n'feel of the area. The end result is that British residential areas are extremely visually appealing with buildings that are matching in style. It's called urban planning and it's a Good Thing. I wish we had the same thing in Canada.

[ Parent ]

Painting approval (none / 0) (#28)
by sigwinch on Tue Jun 05, 2001 at 12:20:05 AM EST

They ensure that the modifications are safe and that they go well with the general look'n'feel of the area. The end result is that British residential areas are extremely visually appealing with buildings that are matching in style. It's called urban planning and it's a Good Thing.
It's called fascism, and it guarantees endless rows of identical, expensive, high-maintenance wooden boxes. Pretty? Yeah, pretty expensive, to the eternal benefit of the painters and carpenters, as well as the energy suppliers.

--
I don't want the world, I just want your half.
[ Parent ]

A matter of opinion (none / 0) (#30)
by cezarg on Tue Jun 05, 2001 at 03:15:36 PM EST

Clearly it's a matter of opinion. If you prefer the look of Canadian/American cities fine. Just live with the fact that most Europeans consider them very unsightly. This is the net result of the "it's my land and who are you to tell me what I can put up on it?" attitude that so many yanks seem to share. For a bit of an eye opener on how cities can look have a trip to Edinburgh or Vienna.

[ Parent ]
Not opinion (none / 0) (#32)
by sigwinch on Wed Jun 06, 2001 at 05:20:47 PM EST

This is the net result of the "it's my land and who are you to tell me what I can put up on it?" attitude that so many yanks seem to share.
Bullshit. It's the net result of the "when you are willing to personally bear the full cost, you can have what you want" attitude. You can have a roof made of real wooden shingles just as soon as you are willing to buy it.
If you prefer the look of Canadian/American cities fine. Just live with the fact that most Europeans consider them very unsightly.
I consider houses built basically like medieval barns to be unsightly. A barn with clever paint and fancy trim, or even a facade of masonry, is still a barn. If that's what Europeans want, they have my pity.

--
I don't want the world, I just want your half.
[ Parent ]

Duh (none / 0) (#34)
by Betcour on Thu Jun 07, 2001 at 08:20:59 AM EST

I consider houses built basically like medieval barns to be unsightly. A barn with clever paint and fancy trim, or even a facade of masonry, is still a barn. If that's what Europeans want, they have my pity.

Actually American pay to go to Disneyland and see fake castles and fake "barn houses" made of plastic and concrete. At least we have the real thing, it's beautifull, and it's free.

[ Parent ]
[OT] Building laws (none / 0) (#35)
by sigwinch on Thu Jun 07, 2001 at 01:15:30 PM EST

Actually American pay to go to Disneyland and see fake castles and fake "barn houses" made of plastic and concrete. At least we have the real thing, it's beautifull, and it's free.
Who the fuck said anything about wanting fake plastic facades that cannot be touched lest they disintigrate. Who the fuck said a single goddamn thing about electric Disneypolymer. What I'm thinking of are underground houses that are invisible and have trees and gardens growing on top. I'm thinking of monolithic domes with solar collectors that need no heating in the coldest winter, and little cooling in the hottest summer. I'm thinking of entire farms covered with geodesic domes so they can grow fresh vegetables year round. When archaic building laws demand obsolete styles, architectural progress is a crime.

Those idiots are stuck in a game of dark age traditions. They're the Catholic Church of architecture, mumbling about dead fashions that should have long been left in the dust. If geodesic domes had been invented in the 13th century, these bozos would outlaw castles and cute little brick houses.

I'm not complaining about the esthetics of their prescribed styles. I'm complaining about their blind obsessive-compulsive lock-in to a few forms, which forms were arbitrarily chosen because statistically there happened to be more of that form in the distant past. It's the QWERTY of architecture.

--
I don't want the world, I just want your half.
[ Parent ]

True (none / 0) (#33)
by Betcour on Thu Jun 07, 2001 at 08:11:23 AM EST

  • Painting your house : you can paint it inside the way you want it, but for the outside you might (I think it depends on municipalities and neightbourhoods) have to get the authorisation first. Houses colors is sometimes controlled because many cities have historic places that the governement want to preserve. And there was no such things as fushia with red dots houses in the 13th century...
  • Naming your kids : yes when you declare the birth of your kids and give the public servant the name, the administration has a right to refuse some names. This is so to protect kids from having to wear silly names that can be a problem for them (you wouldn't want to be called Ford Escort, don't you ?). There's a great freedom of choice, only very hard-to-wear names are refused.
The government should leave people alone when they aren't doing anything to hurt someone else.
That's true - but giving your kids horrible names DOES hurt someone else. As for painting your houses, this is the necessary to protect historical buildings, which doesn't sounds so bad to me either.

[ Parent ]
Poor kid... (4.66 / 3) (#10)
by CaptainObvious on Sat Jun 02, 2001 at 03:34:44 PM EST

Good writeup, +1, section. But enough of the editorial shite. Anyone else think this is desperately sad? I feel sorry for this child...Who is being born probably because this woman didn't have enough love in her life so she decided to slap down some mad cash and conceive a child who will love her unconditionally.


---

Excuse me for butting in, but I'm interrupt-driven...
Poor kid, yes (3.00 / 1) (#17)
by fluffy grue on Sat Jun 02, 2001 at 09:00:13 PM EST

And of course, his mom is gonna die of old age in 3-15 years, and will probably not exactly be the most fun of moms to have in the meantime...
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Dangerous to who? (5.00 / 1) (#18)
by bonoboy on Sat Jun 02, 2001 at 09:35:07 PM EST

Personally, I think the "danger to the mother" is pretty well irrelevant. Much like the liberal argument for ending narcotic prohibition, I tend to believe her body is her temple, let her paint what she likes on the walls.

What does bother me is that a huge percentage of children born to mothers over 40 have 21-trisomy Down's Syndrome, and a bunch of other genetic disorders. I don't consider myself a eugenecist, but I have to say that the old "I'll love them just the same" argument doesn't cut it. Frankly, it's not your life you're messing with, it's someone else's. Many people with such disabilities may lead rewarding, good lives. But do you really want to run the risk of having a kid lacking vital functions required to live to a healthy age? What about if it also comes with immense pain?

The problem I have here is with an argument used most often by pro-abortionists. They say "It's my body and I have the right to do what I like to it." I don't agree. Not that you have no right to your body, but that it's not your body. I'm no pro-lifer, but I wholly believe this is a totally selfish, amoral argument. Screw with your own life, don't drag others into it at the risk of doing them great harm.

</rant>

[ Parent ]

Danger? (4.00 / 2) (#20)
by communista on Sun Jun 03, 2001 at 01:06:27 AM EST

No danger there...
But this kid is gonna be warped growing up. When he needs a mother's guidance when he's meeting girls at 16, his mom is gonna be dead or out of her mind. Real good parenting.
/me fucks shit up!!!!
[ Parent ]
To answer... (WARNING: opinions ahead) (none / 0) (#27)
by Crashnbur on Mon Jun 04, 2001 at 04:28:18 PM EST

Should it be legal to do this?
There should be no law for this. It should not be illegal, in other words. There should be no questions of legality. A woman wants something done to her body, and it poses no potential harm to others, so who are we to legislate what happens to her body? Simply said, it is her decision, not ours.
Is it ethical for a doctor to use this procedure on someone so old?
Similar response to the above: there should be no question of ethics here. It is her body; she can request services as she wishes. Upon that request, it is the doctor's choice to perform (or not) that service. It would not be ethical for such a thing to be outlawed. (Similarly to abortion. I am not pro-abortion; I am pro-choice. We should not be allowed to legislate the actions of one's body. It is for that person and immediate relatives to discuss and decide.)
It is dangerous to people of that age due to blood loss and high blood pressure.
Perhaps. Perhaps not. This is a moot point. I am sure that, in making the decision that she did, she likely considered the potential hazards thoroughly. And if she didn't, I don't believe that matters too much. She made the decision. Who are we to question it? It doesn't affect us...

crash.neotope.com


Oh really? (warning, very long, but please read) (4.00 / 1) (#31)
by Kasreyn on Tue Jun 05, 2001 at 11:38:17 PM EST

There should be no law for this. It should not be illegal, in other words. There should be no questions of legality. A woman wants something done to her body, and it poses no potential harm to others, so who are we to legislate what happens to her body? Simply said, it is her decision, not ours

Ok, great!! Sounds good. Let's take it one step further though, and revive the practise of suttee, eh? After all, she'll die in about 12 years or so and she'll no longer be needing that "part of her body" - you know the one that walks and talks and laughs and thinks. Let's just toss that little lump of flesh on the pyre with her, because after all, it's part of her body.

Sorry to go berserk on you there but that's the same apologist crap abortion advocates always use to make themselves feel better.

(Similarly to abortion. I am not pro-abortion; I am pro-choice. We should not be allowed to legislate the actions of one's body. It is for that person and immediate relatives to discuss and decide.)

Quit using emotionally-charged rhetoric. You are FOR it or you are AGAINST it. Thus you are PRO ABORTION. When you get over it and can admit it to yourself then you will be a true abortion proponent. Until then you're only kidding yourself. Me, I'm an anti-abortion person. I would say pro life but I won't for 3 reasons:

* it is so emotionally charged it is impossible to discuss;

* it is the word used by the religeous right, whose guts I hate dearly; and

* EVERYONE should be pro life. I am simply anti abortion. Saying one is pro life says nothing.

I'm not angry at you except for your use of silly rhetoric and your refusal to accept the repercussions of your own position. I am not attacking you. We merely believe differently, to wit:

You believe a fetus (pre born human) is a part or extension of the mother's body. You apparently believe that the experience of being squeezed out of a vagina in an obstetrics room magically transforms the fetus into a human.

I believe it is a seperate and complete human being from the exact moment of fertilization. It is at this point that, to my layman's understanding of genetics, the child has a complete and unique set of genetic information. It is at this point that in my opinion and firm belief it qualifies as a seperate human being and thus entitled to the "inalienable" rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. If my understanding of genetics or individuality were to change, then I might well change my viewpoint on this.

I do not approach the abortion argument from the viewpoint of its functionality in population control. Personally, I think it is laughably inadmissable as a means of birth control, because celibacy is always available and is utterly effective and proven (not to mention energy efficient!). I personally am disgusted by the thought of helpless children bearing the cost of their parent's irresponsibility. I am sure you, doubltess a moral and upstanding person, would be too, if you considered fetuses human as well. However, I will stop there so as to avoid dragging this post through tired old lines of rhetoric.

I want to stress the fact that I am not attacking you, and I do not hate you, like so many abortion opponents would. If I met you on the street I am sure you would not harm me. We both believe in not harming others - in affording protection and the right to life to other humans. We simply have differing beliefs on when that protection should begin.

Enough of this off-topicality! Sorry for the rant, but I saw a perfect chance to expound my beliefs. Besides, I feel I have to do my part to convert others to my way of thinking - or else what kind of abortion opponent would I be? =)

As to the actual childbirth, I see no reason it should be illegal based solely on age. I do, however, see that there could be tremendous advantage to having reproduction be barred to those who would make inferior parents - either that or mandatory relocation to adoptive (qualified) parents upon birth. So many of the modern woes of this race are caused by incompetent parents. The drawbacks in terms of freedom caused by such a restriction might well be outweighed by the benefits in reduced numbers of fucked-up kids.

Your last statement I agree with. Either she knew the risks or she did not. It is her doctor's duty to advise her of the risks. If she is incompetent to make this decision, a la senility, then of course she should not have children at all (see remark on bad parents...). However, IN THESE CASES, I would see it as neccessary for the woman to sign a waiver or legal document stating that in case of complications involving the possible loss of either her or the baby, that she be sacrificed to bring the baby out alive if neccessary. She should NOT be allowed to make this decision and then wind up simply killing the new human because she is physically and perhaps morally incapable of carrying it out to its conclusion. If it then comes down to the baby or her, the baby MUST be chosen.

Personally, I think it's a really lame and despicable thing to do, on her part. A child needs good parenting. If it were taken from her immediately and put in foster care it might do well. Rather, its formative years will be spent in hospitals watching its mother die. It will have the happy memories of watching its sole parent probably die a gruesome withered death of cancer or whatever. And then it will be alone, and THEN it will go to foster care, and be severely fucked-up to boot. If I were a child welfare worker in this woman's area I would do all in my power to take this child away from her PRONTO. As someone posted earlier, I think she's doing this just for the "unconditional love" kick, which is a monstrous reason to create a human life. If she just wants to experience pregnancy and labor, well that's a valid desire but still not a valid reason to create another human.

I know what I speak of - a friend of mine's mother is extremely old (she was adopted at birth, sadly to a parent too old), and her formative years were ones of fear and loneliness. Her mother and her mother's friends were all old enough to be her grandmothers. She had no friends her own age in her own neighborhood. All through her childhood, these friends of her mother kept dying. She spent a lot of time in hospitals watchin them wither away. Consequently, my friend is one of the most fucked up people I know. Her life, at least her emotional life, has been basically trashed by this experience. So, I would personally prefer this woman not be allowed to keep and raise the child. But if there were a large and interconnected family involved - so that she could continue to be raised by her siblings and grandchildren - then this family experience might be wholesome enough to offset the trauma of one's mother dying of old age when one is 12 years old.


-Kasreyn


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
I feel sorry for the baby (none / 0) (#36)
by sexyblonde on Fri Jul 27, 2001 at 01:14:54 AM EST

I couldn't imagine giving birth to one of my kids at age 62. And even worse the baby's mom & dad are brother & sister. Is the baby going to be o.k. mentally and physically? Most likely *not*. How is the mom going to be able to take care of a newborn properly. How will she be able to run after a toddler. I'm 32 and find myself worn out by the end of the day running after my 2 1/2 year old. I just don't understand people these days.




62-year old French Woman Gives Birth | 36 comments (27 topical, 9 editorial, 0 hidden)
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