Reproductive Rights and Biotechnology – Reproduction Example

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"Reproductive Rights and Biotechnology"' is a perfect example of a paper on reproduction. In 2009 Nadya Suleman gave birth to 14 infants with the aid of artificial insemination. The Doctor who aided Nadya is accused of failing to screen her for mental health issues or to inquire about her background. Nadya does not have the financial means to care for so many children and was 33 and unemployed at the time that she was implanted with 12 frozen embryo’ s (Molly Hennessy-Fiske, 2010). Though the Doctor stated he felt legally bound to follow the patient’ s request ethics require that at times Doctor must be responsible for protecting the patient’ s health and welfare despite their requests. Practitioners of In-Vitro fertilization have a moral and ethical obligation to protect their patients from the decision which seems unsound.

To implant, so many embryos at one time were as the patient requested but the pregnancy was very high risk for both the mother and the octuplets who were born nine weeks premature. With Nadya having no financial way to support these infants and the health risks involved the Doctor was careless and unethical in following the patient’ s request. The ethical problem involves selective reduction possibilities, whereas many embryos are implanted and those most likely to thrive are allowed to remain and the weaker one’ s being selectively destroyed.

Emotions are something that must also be considered when making decisions to implant so many embryos at one time. IVF is viewed by many as a means of controlling nature and the negative effects and emotional impacts of these treatments should be considered. Based upon ethical theories the Doctor who aided Nadya was ethically incorrect in implanting so many embryos at one time. Nadya’ s background and the fact that she already had six children to care for should have been considered more.

Risks to her health along with the possibility of facing selective reduction were all of the implants viable were huge ethical issues that seem to have been ignored. Regulatory agencies regarding IVF should define the circumstances under which IVF treatment should be used. They should also be responsible for how many embryo’ s should be implanted at one time and criteria for evaluating the background of the patient and the patient’ s ability to care for the infants should be well established (Kaliarnta, Nihlé n-fahlquist, & Roeser, 2011). Medical intervention in reproduction should be socially, ethically, and professionally accountable.

Social and ethical issues often overlap and genetic issues are also something that must be considered. Though Nadya’ s children were for the most part healthy the risks associated with the implantation of so many embryos at one time, the fact that she already had six children in the home and no strong social support system should have been considered.

Regulatory agencies should play a role in cases such as this; when the patient requests something which may be unethical. With regulation, the decision does not remain with the Doctor to follow the patient’ s request despite all the additional data (Ehrich, Williams, Scott, Sandall, & Farsides, 2006).


Molly Hennessy-Fiske. (2010, Oct 19). Expert impugns doctor's practices; physician who helped Nadya Suleman have octuplets is accused of gross negligence. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from

Kaliarnta, S., Nihlén-fahlquist, J., & Roeser, S. (2011). Emotions and ethical considerations of women undergoing IVF-treatments. HEC Forum, 23(4), 281-93. DOI:

Ehrich, K., Williams, C., Scott, R., Sandall, J., & Farsides, B. (2006). Social welfare, genetic welfare? Boundary-work in the IVF/PGD clinic.Social Science & Medicine (1982), 63(5), 1213-1224.

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