Ethical dilemma

Doctors debate IVF ethics after woman becomes mother in her 70s

Indian parents Mohinder Singh Gill (R), 79, and Daljinder Kaur, 70, pose for a photograph as they hold their newborn baby boy Arman at their home in Amritsar on May 11, 2016. (NARINDER NANU/AFP/Getty Images)

In India, the birth of a child to a couple in their 70s has sparked a debate among doctors about whether or not to impose legal age restrictions on couples who seek IVF treatment. While it’s recommended by Indian Council of Medical Research that embryos not be implanted in women over the age of 50 — slightly higher than in the U.K. and other European countries, where it’s advised the procedure not be administered to women over age 43 — India has no formal legal age restrictions for IVF. “The whole world is looking at India and saying we can’t regulate ourselves,” said Dr. Narendra Malhotra, head of the Indian Society for Assisted Reproduction. “This child is going to be an orphan in a few years,” he added.

The embryologist who performed the procedure, Anurag Bishnoi, said that while he had been hesitant to proceed with the case due to the potential mother’s age, her desire for a child and healthy medical tests convinced him to go ahead. “My point is,” said Bishnoi, “if you put a restriction [on receiving IVF treatment] of 45 or 50 years, you will have to put a restriction on the males also. If they are talking about ethics, the [age] should be the same for both.”

Read the full story at The Guardian.


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