Saturday, November 20, 2010

Oldest Woman Gives Birth: Is It Ever Too Old to Give Birth?

Adriana and Eliza

A Romanian woman who was pipped as the world’s oldest mother by a 70-year-old Indian woman is considering giving birth at 72. Adriana Iliescu, a writer and part-time lecturer in Romanian literature says “I am fine and healthy and I think it would be possible to have another child in the future, but I’m not in a rush at the moment.

“I am so close to [my 5-year-old daughter] Eliza, so bonded with her, I’m not sure I’d be able to consider having another child if it actually came to it.

“Eliza is energetic and fun — a very happy child. She is everything to me and nothing else counts or matters. The child is mine and that’s all I care about, but medically it is not impossible for me to have another child.”

Is she too old to have a child? Not on your nelly. “I try not to look in the mirror, because I don’t enjoy it,” she says. “‘The mirror is unkind to women, but if we are talking about my energy then I feel like a young woman. I feel like I’m 27 and when I feel a bit more tired, I feel like I’m 37. I am healthier than women more than half my age. People think they are being funny when they call me granny, but I didn’t have Eliza to make me look younger. I never feel my years.”

This is Adriana’s second chance at motherhood. She married at 20 and fell pregnant soon afterwards. But the doctors advised her to have an abortion, as she had recently recovered from TB. She agreed, reluctantly. When she was 24, her husband left her. She became caught up in her profession, and her biological clock tolled midnight. But when IVF came to Romania, she found that it was still not too late. ~ Daily Mail, Nov 14


  1. When it comes to restricting the ages at which women are allowed to have children, ethical principles of beneficence and reproductive rights/autonomy are questioned.

    It is evident that the older a woman may be, the lesser number of years that she will have left to live. Therefore, one must take into account the beneficence, or well being of a child if a woman so chooses to have one. With limited years left to bring up a child, the child will be left motherless at a much younger age. Therefore it is probable that the child will be denied extensive time with their mother. Additionally, the lively hood of the woman must be taken into account as well. The upbringing of a child requires agility and livelihood on the mother's part, as she must be able to keep up with the child's endless energy during their adolescent years. Therefore, one must take into account the beneficence or quality of life that such a child would have.

    Given this, autonomy on part of the woman must be taken into account. As a competent individual, reproductive rights are inherent. The woman has the ability to reproduce as frequently, and when she would like. To restrict this would be unjust.

    By balancing the two arguments, it is most ethical for an age limit to be placed on womens' reproductive rights and the ability to have children. Even though it may be going against the reproductive rights of the mother, this is outweighed by the possible future emotional and/or other harms done to the child by being born to a woman that may be too old.

    However, to limit the age at which a woman can have birth doing does not seem politically correct. Conclusively, it should be up to the mother to take into account family support and other elements of a future child's life to make an educated, ethical decision as to whether or not she should have a child.

  2. I do not think that anyone is in place to comment on this or say no to someone who wishes to have children. From what we have learned/read we know that the ability to reproduce is a right that everyone has and it is a personal decision whether we want to practice it or not. It seems obvious that this woman is a loving mother and always wanted to have children since she had her first child through IVF and if she wants to have another child then she should go ahead and have another child but she also needs to consider a number of factors. While she says she is very healthy you never know the complications that may occur in labor and what about the child's health? No matter how healthy the mother is, as mothers get older the risk of having a child with a disability increases tremendously and this is something she would really need to take into consideration. Another point is the fact that since she is already considerably old, even though she says she is extremely healthy, she needs to think about the fact that people do not live forever and what would happen to her children if she were to not be there one day. If she were to have another child she would be in her late 72s going into her 73s and if she were to live 10 more years the child would be an orphan at 10. Does she want this for her children? While I think that none of us can say when it is too old to have children because this is a personal decision that one has I do think that the person needs to think about other factors too and not make a selfish decision because she wants to have another child, they must think about the child's future life too. I believe this woman's best option is to perhaps adopt a child. She was already given the gift of being able to birth her own child and if she enjoys motherhood as much as she does I believe she should give the gift of a loving mother to an already orphan child who needs a home and she could still have the experience of being a mother to a second child.

  3. This woman has an ethical right to reproduce regardless of her age. The conflicting issue is whether or not she will reproduce a wrongful life for the child. Because she is bound to die when her offspring are still very young, people assume that this motherless life will harm the child’s well-being. Yet, having an older parent does not doom a child’s future. Actually, older individuals tend to be wiser due to their experience throughout life.

    It is unfortunate that the child will eventually lose his or her mother at a very young age, but that woman has a right to procreate. And this right to procreate should not be taken away from her otherwise she is losing her individual autonomy. In addition, this woman suffered in her earlier years by not being able to procreate. Therefore, her personal situation should allow for more acceptance of her having a baby now at seventy-two. This woman’s autonomy should not be restricted and she should be able to have a second child at this very old age.

  4. I don't think that it is right to ever put an age limit for becoming a mother. We need to look at other factors in deciding whether or not someone is fit to have a child, not just age. Someone could be 50 years old and perfect healthy and capable to raise a child, so how could we ban them from doing so yet allow a 25 year old who has a drinking problem and is financially unstable. If one was to base just off of age, then the child of the 25 year old would be worse off.
    I think if we set an age limit on reproduction then we would be going against the principle of autonomy. Everyone has their own right to decide whether or not to procreate, however, it is the woman's responsibility to evaluate her life to see whether or not she is ABLE to provide for the child. It would be an incredibly selfish act if someone who is not willing to emotionally and financially support a child, especially at an older age, to reproduce. Any woman, especially those who are single, who are expecting or deciding whether or not to procreate but take into consideration what would happen to the child if someone were to happen to them, regardless of age. Just because a woman is old doesn't mean that something tragic could happen to a younger mother. Expecting mothers should ALWAYS put their child's life in their best-interest and make sure that they will always be provided for, in case something should ever happen to them.

  5. Through the ethical principle of autonomy, which essentially means personal independence, every person has the right to reproduce a child whenever they want to. Therefore, to ever put an age restriction on child-rearing would fundamentally be unethical.

    That being said, when a woman is thinking about practicing her autonomous decision to reproduce or not, she should keep in the mind the best interest of her potential child in terms of the ethical principles of nonmaleficence and justice. The latter principle states that everyone has a right to a life that allows them to live up to their potential and be happy. When a woman is going to give birth she must consider if she can bring up a child in such an environment in which the child's right in this sense are not infringed. That being said, a woman of 72 may be able to financially and socially do that for a child, however, at such an old age with limited years left it is a harsh reality that the child is going to lose their mother when they are still quite young. This could have detrimental affects to the child's life, particularly is the mother is the only caregiver of the child. In this sense, the principle of nonmaleficence also comes into play because the mother must determine if by having the child she will be doing it more harm than good by stepping on the child's rights. However, like I said it is up to the mother to decipher whether her autonomous decision will impose onto the rights of her potential child in terms of justice and nonmaleficence.

  6. This woman has an individual right to have a child; that is her reproductive right. Although it is possible that the woman will not live to see her child reach adulthood, no one can be certain how old the woman may live to. It is possible that she could live into her late 90's and see her child grow up, no one really knows. In this same respect, it is possible that a woman in her 20's could die before she reaches her 30's. People die at all ages and leave children behind, so why should an older woman not be allowed to have a child? Additionally, people's age does not always correlate to how youthful they are. As the 72 year old woman said, she is in good shape and feels like she's in her 30's. She has a five year old daughter that she clearly loves and parents well, so who is to say she could not be a good mother to a second child?
    -Alex Gustafson

  7. Restricting the age at which a woman can have a child does not seem ethical to me. That being said, I am also not sure whether it is really fair to a child to have parents who are in the twilight years of their lives. No matter how good a parent this specific woman may be, chances are she will not be around for her children as long as a younger parent would be. Aside from her age, Iliescu is also a single parent. Even adoption agencies are hesitant to give children to single parents, in most cases. It seems as though the children she has will be born with disadvantages.

    As I said, however, I do not think that anyone should put a restriction on ages at which women can have children. Ultimately, it is their right to decide whether or not they are still capable of providing the care that their babies will need and deserve. If this woman has the means to get another IVF treatment and feels that she can take care of another child, no one should tell her that she is not allowed to.

    - Rachel Corrado

  8. As much as thing it is every woman's right to bear children, I would definitely analyze the pros and the cons if I were over 70 and continuing to have kids. This woman feels great for her age and had the ability through IVF to not only become pregnant but live through it and for another 5 years more. Her daughter is well taken care of, and despite the looming elderliness and the chance of age-related illness and/or death, she is taking care of her daughter the same way any other mother would. That is the right of humanity. To decide what is best for the individual and the people around you, and with that thought she carefully decided that she should and could have a child. I don't think ethically there was much wrong with this situation. In different circumstances, I understand the dilemma of beneficence and whether it is more harmful to have a child at such an old age rather not to. I just don't think it necessarily applies to this woman's story.

  9. I don't think it is anybody's place to restrict somebody in having a child. It is a woman's inherent right to give birth, and she should be able to exercise her procreative liberty in both bearing and rearing a child if that is what she wants. However, I can understand that people think having such an old mother is unjust to the child. What if she dies and leaves her child behind before she can fend for herself? Does she have the energy to provide a happy, fulfilling childhood for her kid?
    In this case, this woman is full of life. She is healthy, lively, and probably a much better mother than some of the other girls/women in this world who have children. The main thing is that she loves her child, and again, this is not a given for every mother. However, at a certain age, the mother should be required to appoint a legal, trusted, and responsible guardian who would take custody of her child in case she does pass before the child can take care of his/herself. That way, it will be assured that the child will be protected in case something does happen to the mother due to her older age. In addition, in this story, the child's fulfilling and happy childhood does not need to be questioned. This woman loves her child, and she deserves to have her.

  10. A woman is never too old to give birth. There is no way to place an age limit on being a parent. It is her reproductive right to procreate and choose with whom/how she would like to do so. IVF has given many women opportunities to give birth such as this woman that would have otherwise thought it was impossible. She has every right to give birth to another child if she feels it is something she would like to do. Though the argument of her being too old to care for another child can be presented how can we judge a woman’s life based merely on her age? In the case of Iliescu, she never had the opportunity to have a child until the new discoveries of IVF became available. If she has that deep desire to become a mother and raise children of her own is it ethical to deny her this liberty merely because society believes she is too old to do so? As long as she is healthy, and active who is to say that she would not be a better mother than younger mothers. If anything, she has the wisdom of her years to be able to instill values and lessons in her children. Iliescu can provide a loving, nurturing environment in which to raise her children, which is more than some of the environments that other younger couples are willing to provide. She has the time to dedicate her entire life to her children, she does not have the demanding other aspects of her life to inhibit her parenting.

  11. In class we accepted the fact that all people have an innate right to choose whether or not they wish to reproduce. We also made the distinction that reproduction is not the same thing as parenting. By limiting this woman’s right to reproduce we would be violating her ability to make an autonomous decision regarding reproduction. What makes this case ethically questionable is not the woman’s desire to reproduce; rather it is whether or not she is capable of caring for her child.
    In some cases, an older woman may wish to reproduce for selfish reasons without having considered how the child will be cared for, yet I would guess that this is less often the case. Instead of limiting a woman’s autonomy by forbidding reproduction we can only hope that an older woman would evaluate her own state of health and her support system before choosing to reproduce. It is important that a woman who reproduces at such a late age creates some sort of safety net so that the child will receive adequate parenting in the event that she is not healthy enough to care for her child. If she fails to do so, then she will be neglecting her child and social services is responsible for intervening, but this is an entirely different ethical problem. Overall though, it is too preemptive to forbid elderly women from reproducing because there is no way of predicting an unfavorable outcome for the child.

  12. The right to reproduce is held by every individual. If this woman feels healthy and fit enough to raise a child, then there should be no reason to stop her from doing so. She clearly wants to have another child because she enjoys parenting and being a mother and its hard to argue with this. However, because of her age, it there may be complications with the birthing process or the pregnancy itself, but those problems can be dealt with if and when they arise.

    Looking at the perspective of the child:
    This child will be raised in a single parent household. Many times with these situations, there can be problems with "proper" upbringing. But, she is already a mother and has a special connection to her 5-year-old daughter. It is clear she values being a mother and having a special bond with her child. She demonstrates qualities and characteristics of a good mother that would make me wonder why anyone would question "allowing" her to have another child.

  13. Putting a time limit on when one chooses to procreate is taking away a basic, yet extremely important right that comes with being a human. I feel the woman's autonomy takes priority over other issues such as the baby having an elderly mother. Many people in this world probably should not procreate due to many other factors that might prevent one from being a "good" mother. The woman should use her best judgement in whether or not she is fit to be a parent. A life is better than no life. Why should the government start restricting basic rights of an individual, and where do we draw the line? If an old age limit is set, should a limit be set on mothers who procreate at the age of 13? Many other factors contribute to the definition of being able to be a good mother. If this women loves her child unconditionally and provides for that child, why should anyone prohibit that right? And like Sasha stated above, if she demonstrates characteristics of a good mother why should anyone question her ability to have another child?

  14. I think this question forces us to consider the ethical principles of beneficence and autonomy. From the woman’s perspective, she should be allowed to exercise her autonomy and make the decision on whether to procreate or not to procreate. No one should be able to interfere with that duty. Procreation is essential to ones meaning of life and the deprivation of this satisfying and meaningful experience would therefore be depriving one of connecting with nature and future generation. This in itself is a great loss. However, recognition of choice does not eliminate the responsibilities it entails. Is this principle considering more than just the mother? How about the child? The principle of beneficence refers to our duty as humans to care for others, to act in ways that benefit others. An older woman having a child does not necessarily create the maximum benefit for her daughter. Although she feels healthy and strong, her span of life is limited at her age. She could die tomorrow or in the next few years and then what would happen to her child? The article does not mention any family except for the husband that left her at 24. The child could end up without a mother or in an abusive foster home. This situation could cause emotional trauma in the future which would therefore result in a life of suffering which is not morally beneficial to the child.

  15. When it comes to the question of how old is too old to give birth, there are a number of factors that must be considered. The occurrence of mental and physical disabilities in a child increase as the mothers age increases, however it is still possible to have a perfectly healthy baby at that age. There should not be an age restriction on an older woman becoming pregnant based solely on the possibility of adverse health effects of the infant, because one can predict that a woman having a baby at 24 will have a healthier baby than a woman who is pregnant at age 74. One can also not predict that the child of a younger parent would be better off, because you cannot assume that the younger parent is better educated or more fit to be a parent, what if the 24 year old has a history of drug and/or alcohol abuse. In terms of reproductive rights, every individual has a moral right to reproduce and reproductive freedom is a primary or prima facia right which ought not be limited except for very good reason. The ethical issue at hand is the beneficence of the child, because the child will likely be left an orphan at a young age based on the average lifespan of woman. However, it cannot be assumed that the child in question will be harmed were the mother to pass away while the child was still young. Every individual has autonomy, or the individual right to govern their body, therefore restricting the age a woman is allowed to reproduce would be unethical and would restrict the independence we as individuals are granted.

  16. In discussing this case and whether Adriana should be able to procreate one must consider the stakeholders: Adriana, Eliza and the potential newborn.

    Adriana, a 72 year old women, is not sure if she wants another child, but she is considering the possibility. She had tried to give birth during her prime and failed. Her husband left her before she conceived another child and then her profession took full occupancy of her life. Therefore, her only chance that she has allowed herself for motherhood happens to be when she is reaching the end of her life. The average life expectancy is around 78, so if she did have another child, it is uncertain how long she would be able to rear it. The amount of time Adriana would mother this child ranges from 1 year to around 20 years (if she notably outscores the average life expectancy.) So, there is a possibility that Adriana can rear this child until adulthood. Sure, we can say that no woman in her right mind would have a baby at age 72, but consider the intelligence level of with whom we are dealing-- writer and part time lecturer. Adriana is no Einstein, but she can make her own judgement and decide whether she would be doing wrong by bringing a new child into the world.

    Eliza can also be considered a stakeholder in this case. If Adriana had another child, she would be at risk of not surviving the delivery and therefore leaving Eliza motherless. Who will take care of Eliza? Since we have no information on this with the information give, we can delve into many hypotheticals. Lets not speculate too far that we get off track though. If Adriana and the newborn survived, Eliza will have the advantage of having a younger sister. Of course there are pros and cons to having siblings, but from my personal experience, Eliza would be better off with a younger sister.

    Now let's consider the third and probably most important stakeholder in this case-the unborn baby. The baby has a right to be born healthy and be reared. Adriana has the potential to birth and rear a new healthy child. Though the health of the child is questionable, considering the mother's age. If Adriana was not there to rear her new child then I assume some entity would step in to take her place. Therefore, the rearing of this unborn child is definite.

    After considering the three stakeholders, we now have an idea of their rights/wants/responsibilities. I conclude that Adriana's autonomy carries the most weight and she can make her own decision of whether she should have another child. This is not representative of all cases.

  17. There are a lot of things to consider, which have mostly been pointed out by others in this case. The first thing that comes to mind is that Adriana is approaching the average life expectancy for humans. Where would that leave her two young children? However, Adriana claims that she feels young and she could potentially live long enough to raise her children.
    Adriana's age and marital status make her arguably unfit to have and rear another child. But usually being what some people consider "unfit," is not a reason not to reproduce. But if a woman is biologically able to reproduce, she has the right to, even if she is too young or abuses drugs. So if these women are arguably "less fit" but maintain the right to reproduce, it is unfair to take away the right from women in situations like Adriana's.
    In the past, as this biological ability to reproduce diminishes, the right to reproduce goes with it. Although this "biological clock" arguably runs out for a reason, with enough money and desire to become a parent, anything is possible. When a person becomes biologically unable to reproduce, they need to make careful consideration in reproducing anyway. Ultimately, it is Adriana's decision. If her body can still handle the IVF treatment, she has the right to take advantage of it, even if it is not the best decision for the child that will become of it.
    -Becca Adlman

  18. It seems that medical science had got ahead of society. How can it be justified to get a 70 year old pregnant when, at the best, the child will be only 15 when their mom is no longer able to look after him or her. In considering fertilisation on older women, it is the continuity of the future child's upbringing that is paramount not the feelings of women who are unbalanced at the best. I don't know that death is even the only potential problem. What if she had a stroke or other life changing event. Is the doctor going to let her daughter move in? Will the nursing home allow children? Given her age and the uncertainty of how long she will live on, we do not know to what extent in terms of time will she take care of her daughter. In addition, without a father nor a conventional mother, the child has an incomplete childhood experience. It would not be fair to the child to exist given that she did not have a choice to begin with.

    Nevertheless, no one is immortal and although Eliza is much older than normal mothers there are many cases of a parent dying young - often unexpectedly - so a healthy old mother caring for her daughter makes sense. I think it's great and know of local cases of varying degrees of an older age parent which proved successful. Child bearing, distinct from parenting, is a fundamental right of autonomy. Who has the right to tell this women that she cannot exercise her right to give birth, to which she has full control of her body?
    ~Handi Wu

  19. Ethically, every woman has the innate right to choose to reproduce, if they so desire. This reproductive right is so essential to a person that it should never be taken away or restricted.

    However, a person considering reproducing when nearing the end of their life should consider the normative justice of their actions. Though they may desire a child, should they bring one into the world when they know there is a higher risk of becoming unable to care for the child than if they reproduced at a younger age?

    How would the child feel knowing that, growing up, her mother will only be able to care for her at best into his or her mid teens? Not only that, but the roles will most likely switch at that point, and the child will be taking care of his or her parent. How would this affect them physically and mentally?

    Though everyone has the right to reproduce and is free to do so as much and as long as they can, one should really consider the normative justice for themselves and their child when making the decision to reproduce in old age.

  20. From an ethical standpoint there should be no restriction on the age a woman can give birth; as Adrianna explained, you are as old as you feel. Clearly, she feels like she is at a prime time in her life to mother her child and start a family. This woman, as every other woman, has a personal right to use her body to reproduce when she sees fit. It would be unethical to take that right away from her.

    Based on autonomy, Adrianna has the right to choose her own path. She has chosen to procreate at a late age because she feels she is well-suited to do so.

    Although many people would consider her age, and not agree with what she has chosen to do, that does not make it ethically wrong. Most often the actions of one person in a situation differ from the actions of another. However, it can usually not be said that one is clearly right and one is clearly wrong. Everyone chooses to do what is best for him/herself, as Adrianna did. If she did not believe she was capable of having this child she probably would not have, but she expressed that she feels wonderful and fully able to care for her child. Based on Adrianna's rights as a person and her autonomy, it should clear that taking away her right to bear children would be ethically wrong.

  21. Although it is inherently wrong to reject someone's ethical right to reproduce, it is hard to determine how old is too old to reproduce.

    The woman in this situation does pose a valuable point, which is that she feels young despite being 72 years of age, thus feeling as if she is healthy enough to have another kid. However, there is a difference between "feeling" healthy and actually "being" healthy.

    She will only get older and older, and her mobility will be severely affected as she ages. Caring for a child in the late hours of the night will only lead to her having a higher risk of getting sicker, thus weakening her body, which poses the question as to whether she'll be healthy enough and have enough energy to support two children.

    I personally believe that there should be some kind of limit to when parents can still have children. I do believe that in some circumstances a child can live a great life while being born to a parent over the age of 60, and i do think its great that these people want to have kids. It's troubling, however, to think of how much a kid's childhood is affected if their parents can't even play with them as they would if they are younger. The elderly (for the most part) can't roll around, play whiffle ball or participate in any sort of activity that poses bodily strain, and this can severely effect a kid's childhood. There is also a higher risk for these elderly parents to get sick or hurt themselves, which can directly effect the care given to the child as he/she grows up. It's also troubling to think that most of these parents may not even be alive to see their children graduate from high school.

    Overall, i do support the right to have children at whatever age you please, but i do believe that extensive planning must occur between the parents. Child bearing is completely different than parenting. So, if she wishes to have a kid, then so be it. It's a personal decision, but there are other ethical ramifications involved, that again, rest on the side of parenting that should be considered. Taking away someone's right to have children would be ethically wrong.

    -Ryan Shea

  22. It is interesting to observe the differences in attitude between people of the same age group. Few people in their 70s claim to feel like they are in their 30s on a bad day. If Adriana truly is as healthy and energetic as she claims, then who is to say is a lesser parent than a woman in her 30s? Although I don't think anyone has the right to stop someone from using any means available to them to reproduce, I do think it is important to establish the competency of parents, and how they plan to compensate for any incompetencies. In this case, Adriana's sole incompetency seems to be her age. She is a healthy, accomplished woman able to care for a child. Being 73 suggests she might die 'too soon' to give Eliza a stable life by societal standards; she should look into ways to provide that stability even after her death. One way could be to select an individual currently involved in the child's life - someone capable and willing, who Eliza has a meaningful relationship with - to care for her if Adriana dies before Eliza reaches adulthood. This suggestion may be controversial, but it ensures a more stable life for Eliza than being incorporated into the governments' system of orphanages and foster homes. The same logic can be applied to other cases of older women desiring to have children.


  23. This issue seems to have at least three sides. On the one hand there is the mother/adult to consider. She is obviously not getting pregnant without the help of technology. In and of itself, this not wrong since many women who cannot conceive have been using IV for years. The desire to be a mother is deeply ingrained in the psyche of most woman and age sometimes does not diminish that feeling. However, this woman in concert with her doctor needs to consider the health of her eggs and what condition they are in. A second issue is the cost factor. A woman of 72 may encounter more diificulties during pregnancy that a younger woman. Who is paying these costs? Is it the woman, her health insurance, the govenment, ultimately the taxpayers? These are all things to consider. Then there is the child. Satistically speaking how long can this woman expect to live even though she claims she feels so young. If she dies when the child is quite young which is more than likely what will happen to that child? Is the child to be raised by other relatives, or will the child become a ward of the state? Again, who is paying for the care of this child if the mother dies when statistics say is the average age of death for a woman living in Romania? There is obviously no clear cut answer, but I would have to say that yes, a person might be too old to give birth.

  24. There are two equally important sets of rights to consider in this situation: the reproductive rights of the mother and the rights of the child to have a family capable of raising them. While older women certainly have the right to undergo procedures of their choosing in order to have children, those choices also confer the same responsibility that all mothers have, to provide the best for their child(ren). Not only is there the concern of health, longevity, and whether the child will be left motherless or in some cases entirely without parents, but also the concern of potential harm to the child due to complications of the pregnancy. At the same time, it's possible that Iliescu and other older mothers like her could have a perfectly normal pregnancy and live for another 30+ years, fully able to provide for and raise their children. While it is a valid point, the increased likelihood that older women could die before their children are grown should not be used as a justification for not allowing them to have children. That line of argumentation could then be extended to women with any of a number of health conditions that may shorten their lifespan--where is the line drawn? (Increased) risk of illness or death is not the same as illness and death. Advanced age should not automatically bar a woman from having children, but great care should be taken to ensure that the woman is physically capable of handling a pregnancy and that the proper care and attention can be provided for the child. There is no clear cut answer to the question of whether a woman can be too old to be a mother since both the mother and child have a right to a fulfilling life, and it is unclear whether each person can really provide that for the other.

  25. On ethical grounds alone, she has a right to reproduce if she would like. But we also need to think of the right of the child, she already has a 5 year old and is 72. We need to consider if she would be able as she progresses in age, to take care of her children. Would an 80 year old be able to take care of a 7 year old? We need to think what is best for the child. But she still hold her right ti have child if she is healthy enough, we can't ethically deny her that right.

  26. The ethical issues that are central to this case are the autonomy of Adriana and beneficence. It is the right of every woman to procreate, and to refuse this right would be a violation of a person’s autonomy. On the other hand, Adriana’s physician has the responsibility to provide the treatment in her best interest. Adriana is 72 so she is susceptible to additional health risks, such as slower healing and increased vulnerability to infection. Thus, it would be irresponsible of the physician to perform IVF on Adriana since she has a much higher risk of an adverse reaction to the procedure. In this case, autonomy conflicts with beneficence, so it is difficult to reach a resolution. Nevertheless, I do not believe that it would be unethical to restrict Adriana from receiving in vitro fertilization (IVF). IVF is a medical procedure, so doctors should have the right to regulate the procedure. Furthermore, there is a difference between preventing Adriana from receiving a procedure, which may harm her, and not allowing her to procreate. Therefore, denying Adriana IVF does not necessarily violating her right to procreate. While I do believe that autonomy is important, I do not believe that it should override other values because people often act selfishly and may be ill informed.

  27. Every woman has her own procreative liberty and she should not be on a timer of when she should have children. There should not be restrictions on becoming a parent. Some women feel more comfortable having children when they are much older than the usual age at which women have kids. Adriana has all the freedom to use her reproductive rights and have another child if she chooses to, but she must also take into consideration several factors concerning her age.

    Although she may feel healthy, there are still some serious risks of having an IVF at that age. Also, she may get sick in the next couple of years, and there could be a possibility that she may die before she reaches 100 years of age. The child would still be fairly young, and since she does not have a husband, the child would be left an orphan. Adriana may not have the same energy to be a mother and keep up with her infant in the future also.

    Adriana should not be selfish about her decision, especially when she already has a daughter. She has already experienced parenthood, and it may not be the best choice to have another child because of safety issues. Nevertheless, Adriana’s autonomy should also be respected, but she should consult professionals before taking any action.

  28. Every person has a right to reproduce and age should not be a limiting factor. While it may seem at first glance that allowing an older woman to have a child would compromise that child’s quality of life, since she may not have the energy of a younger mother and may die earlier, the magnitude of these risks are very uncertain. An older woman may in fact make a better mother, since she is more mature. Considering that she claims to feel very healthy and energetic, she may be in a better physical condition to look after a child than some younger women. It is Adriana’s right to have a child if she wants to, but it is also her responsibility to look after the best interest of her child, a responsibility that young mothers have, too. No one knows when they will die, but Adriana should make arrangements to make sure that her children are well off even if her health deteriorates. Overall, despite her age, Adriana is just as able as a younger woman to be a responsible mother, and her reproductive rights should not be limited.

  29. Given this situation, it is important to first note that every inidividual has a right to their exercise their own autonomy. As such, this woman wants to have another child and is simply exercising these rights in doing so. On the other hand, it is important to look at this dilemma from the angle of benficience. What outcome here would produce the greatest good and serve the best interests of most? The issue is that this woman is much older than a usual mother would be. It may jeopardize her ability to rear the child and her longevity must also be taken into account. It is questionable whether she will actually be alive long enough to raise the child. Her potential early death may cause further harm to the child and it's future without a mother.

    Additionally the technology and morality behind the IVF treatment which will enable this elderly woman to bear more children ought to be questioned. The IVF is new technology and is not necessarily alligned with the natural way of human existence and procreation, it bypasses certain biological prerequisites that would otherwise be necessary for a woman to give birth, and prevent an old woman from bearing children. Although this treatment is legal and does not break any laws in the country of Romania, where this specific case takes place.

    We are unaware of the other details surrounding the situation. Does the woman have family that will be able to continue to raise her children if she passes on? Will they be able to provide for the children in the same way? Nonetheless, it has said she has experienced a very fruitful bonding relationship with her current child, and who is to say that this may not be possible with another child. She has the right to take advantage and use the IVF treatment and ought to be able to exercise her autonomy in doing so. The ethical decision would seem to be to allow her to have children in this case, given the information provided and the circumstances at hand after weighing the downisdes.

  30. Most people know that it is risky for women to have children after the age of 35, because of the increase in risk of the child contracting diseases like Down syndrome. However I say if a 72-year old woman wants to have a child, she has the right to do so. Besides respecting her autonomy and freedom to make decisions, it is the 21st century and medicine and technology have come a long way. New advancements in both fields can easily provide for anything she needs. But to bring it back the right for a mother to have a child is as an ancient right as any. We all owe our very existence to the billions of mothers out there, so who is to stop someone from becoming a mother. Yes, there are risks, however even young mothers all have risks during pregnancy and giving birth. The average lifespan of humans has greatly increased in recent decades so why cant the average age of giving birth increase as well.

  31. According to reproductive rights, this fairly old mother has her right to bare a child even at her age. It is her freedom to do so. The major concern becomes the quality of the child's life. There are countless risks reproducing at her age. It threatens her life and also the child wellness.The question is if this aging mother would be able to take care of her child as she becomes older and weaker and who would be responsible for her young children if she passed away.

  32. Despite the risk of giving birth to a child who has Down syndrome, I think it is perfectly ethical for an older woman to choose to have a child, especially given the advances in prenatal screening. Such a woman, regardless of how advanced in age, is still an autonomous and moral agent worthy of respect. If such a person is healthy and able and willing to have a child, there seems to be no major ethical issue here. However, an argument could be made for the interests of the child being born. Such a child would presumably want a mother who would live long enough to help raise said child. Thus an argument could be made against the choice to conceive by an elderly woman because such a choice has the potential of diminishing the quality of life for the child. I don't agree with this argument because even though it is ideal to have one's parents around, many children still live full and meaningful lives even after losing a parent or parents.

    Jill Grodman