In a follow-up post to Kelly's previous post, it seems that Nadya Suleman's use of IVF technology is clear misuse and abuse of ARTs (Assisted Reproductive Technologies). The doctor who implanted the embryos should be investigated, because in helping this woman become pregnant with 8 children, he or she violated one of the basic tenets of medicine -- "Do No Harm". Hopefully, the Board of Medical Licensure will investigate and determine what the possible motivation was for this doctor's actions, whether it was a one time lapse in judgment due to extreme personal difficulties, or if it represents a small part of a larger pattern of unethical behavior and practice for the doctor and the fertility clinic.
There are multiple ethical considerations at play when an IVF specialist is approached by any woman and a 'burden vs benefit' analysis is employed. When someone who has already had six children through the procedure seeks more, I cannot imagine a valid or justifiable benefit -- the burdens include physical and financial costs to the mother (who has already declared bankruptcy), to the grandmother, to the siblings, to the children born, and to society. And while one might argue that this is an exercise in reproductive autonomy, we, as a society need to ask 'how far does reproductive autonomy go?' Does it include the right to create children who been disabled or dis-enhanced? (A nightmare scenario vaguely reminiscent of Dean Koontz' novel, One Door Away from Heaven). How we answer this question will have an impact on how we deal with future cases, such as those involving genetic engineering.
Hopefully, this case will call attention to the need for regulation and oversight of Assisted Reproductive Technologies. Currently, we have a laissez-faire attitude towards ARTs and fertility clinics; we have trusted the doctors and clinics to regulate themselves, via the American Society for Reproductive Medicine --and this case demonstrates that we can no longer simply turn a blind eye.