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Octuplets case prompts calls for fertility regulations

Suleman The public interest group Center for Genetics and Society is calling on Congress to hold hearings on oversight of the largely unregulated $3-billion fertility industry.

Spurred by the octuplets controversy that resulted after a Beverly Hills fertility doctor transferred at least six embryos into 33-year-old Nadya Suleman, and by advertisements for "designer babies," the group said the United States needed to establish regulations similar to what exists in other industrialized countries.

"For too long, America has had an unfortunate reputation as the 'Wild West' of the fertility industry -- and that image has been reinforced by recent controversies," said Marcy Darnovsky, the center's associate executive director. "Federal regulation and oversight are needed, and Congress should take the first step by holding hearings."

The group said it also was concerned, as states begin to introduce new legislation in response to the controversies, that it not become a "cumbersome patchwork" of laws. Already, California, Georgia and Missouri have introduced legislation to regulate fertility clinics.

The Fertility Institute, based in Los Angeles, has caused a recent stir by advertising gender, hair and color selection in babies. On Monday, the institute announced that it would suspend its program to select eye and hair color.

"Though well intended, we remain sensitive to public perception and feel that any benefit the diagnostic studies may offer are far outweighed by the apparent negative societal impacts involved," the clinic's website states.

-- Kimi Yoshino

Photo: NBC

Previously on L.A. Now

Whittier police and Suleman: before and after she added 8

Octuplets story is a huge draw for website for moms by moms

Man wants DNA test to see if he is octuplets' father

Father of octuplets' mother calls her "absolutely irresponsible"

Octuplets' mother gets a giant babysitting offer

House where octuplets' mom lives is in danger of foreclosure

Octuplets' mom identifies her fertility clinic in Beverly Hills

Octuplets story takes surreal turns, including You Tube video

Comments () | Archives (7)

Better than laws what we need is a whole new state agency to manage all of the issues inherent to fertilization in vivo, in vitro, all of them fertilizations.

We could call it the Department of Managed Procreation, DMP for short.

What we do is set up regional offices all over the state, big buildings, lots of clerks, many forms, long lines. Just like any other government agency providing jobs for the relatives of other government workers. If people want to fertilize they could make an appointment on the internet and come in to register a uterus or take a test for a license to DRIVE, so to speak.

I think I'm on to something here.

OK, ok, then we close them down every other Friday because of lack of budget funds.

Man, this will need some more thought, huh?

The thing about this is that if it becomes regulated...who gets to decide who can and cannot have fertility treatment (essentially have a child?) You want to bet that certain state will try to deny that treatment to gays, lesbians and Others who don't fall into their narrow views of "appropriate?"

The way to discourage people like Suleman is to simply take the children away and place them in homes with responsible people, and make her cover the tab for her own hospitalization.

If in the future, as a single, employed and responsible female who may decide not to wait for a husband to have a child, I'm not too interested in having other people tell me if I can or cannot do so. Don't let the Sulemans spoil it for the majority of people who aren't crazy.

Will someone please explain to me why need new laws to address something that has only happened once in human history? Despite all the media attention, our society will not collapse and our government will not go bankrupt because this woman had 8 children. I sure hope our legislature is not wasting its time developing legislation addressing matters that are of virtually no consequence to the 3.4 million residents of our state.

what needs to be done is. The Doctor that does the treatment needs to be accountable for his or her actions...they should split the cost of everything in cases like this one...

Oops. I meant to refer to 34 million residents.

"The way to discourage people like Suleman is to simply take the children away and place them in homes with responsible people, and make her cover the tab for her own hospitalization."

That's the whole problem. You've just described an incredibly complex process fraught with failure. She cannot cover the tab for the hospitalization, which is in the millions, and placing kids in responsible homes - especially kids with medical and developmental problems, which preemies are bound to have - is incredibly difficult. Ask anyone working in adoption.

Let's focus here people! It's not about who does or doesn't get fertility treatments. It's about the ethics of implanting SIX or MORE embryos in a woman and the impact that has on her and the lives of her premature babies. We're not dogs. Our bodies aren't meant to birth litters and the doctors who are supposed to help us take care of them should know better.


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