SO wrong! 67-year-old mother gives birth to twins

nature wants you to die.
Originally Posted by Lucille
Whether we accept it or not, we are all going to die so it would seem reasonable that we try to accept it.

Having some sort of standard for what behavior is acceptable or not (productive or not, moral or not, promotes survival or not, etc) is the age-old dilemna of being a human.

Attempting to use a natural standard for our behavior seems as reasonable an endeavor as any.
Originally Posted by KatieCoolLady
How do we decide what is a natural standard though? Do we base it on animal behavior? If so, we are in trouble--many normal animal behaviors would be considered unconscionable if performed by humans.
Originally Posted by iris427
I don't think it is hard to assume that nature did not intend for women approaching 70 to conceive children.
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali











nature wants you to die.
Originally Posted by Lucille
Whether we accept it or not, we are all going to die so it would seem reasonable that we try to accept it.

Having some sort of standard for what behavior is acceptable or not (productive or not, moral or not, promotes survival or not, etc) is the age-old dilemna of being a human.

Attempting to use a natural standard for our behavior seems as reasonable an endeavor as any.
Originally Posted by KatieCoolLady
How do we decide what is a natural standard though? Do we base it on animal behavior? If so, we are in trouble--many normal animal behaviors would be considered unconscionable if performed by humans.
Originally Posted by iris427
ITA.
nature wants you to die.
Originally Posted by Lucille
Whether we accept it or not, we are all going to die so it would seem reasonable that we try to accept it.

Having some sort of standard for what behavior is acceptable or not (productive or not, moral or not, promotes survival or not, etc) is the age-old dilemna of being a human.

Attempting to use a natural standard for our behavior seems as reasonable an endeavor as any.
Originally Posted by KatieCoolLady
Oh look. You come out of nowhere to respond to my post out of the many in this thread. Imagine that.

Perhaps I should have said, "nature wants you to die in the near future." We don't accept that as a general principle, regardless of whether we are accepting that we will all die some day. Medicine often attempts to do what nature would otherwise have -- including IVF. (In the case of cancer, delay death.) The fact is that IVF is used because people cannot get pregnant otherwise -- due to menopause or a myriad of other cards dealt in the deck of nature. To claim that one reason the person is unable to conceive is more important than that of another because it is more common in nature is a bit, oh, judgmental.
nature wants you to die.
Originally Posted by Lucille
Whether we accept it or not, we are all going to die so it would seem reasonable that we try to accept it.

Having some sort of standard for what behavior is acceptable or not (productive or not, moral or not, promotes survival or not, etc) is the age-old dilemna of being a human.

Attempting to use a natural standard for our behavior seems as reasonable an endeavor as any.
Originally Posted by KatieCoolLady
How do we decide what is a natural standard though? Do we base it on animal behavior? If so, we are in trouble--many normal animal behaviors would be considered unconscionable if performed by humans.
Originally Posted by iris427
Good question. That's why I specifically said "attempting to use" because there is no clear cut answer. Hence, why these sorts of issues (not specific) have been debated throughout the ages and will be even moreso now that we have the technology to do things that we perhaps should not be able to do.
If there were more people on earth who desired their own happiness more than the unhappiness of others we would have a paradise ~ Bertrand Russell
This situation raises a LOT of deep ethical and philosophical questions that should not be treated glibly. Some of you have already raised some issues but think about others in the same category:

What about parents who have genetic diseases or disabilities, who know there is a good chance that the children will inherit same? Should you knowingly bring a child into the world who may suffer chronic pain, disfigurement, early death?

What about parents who are limited physically, emotionally, or intellectually -- who should decide if they should have children? Are the blind, deaf, depressed, lame, or chronically ill folks fit parents?

What about parents with histories of drug addiction or alcoholism? Even if they're clean now, relapse rates are high -- what if they relapse while the children are still young enough to need their care?

What about parents who belong to questionable organizations? What if they take their toddlers to Klan meetings?

What about the special challenges some people say that children of mixed religious/racial/national backgrounds face? For that matter, what about minority children who may face bigotry and hatred in this world? Why knowingly subject a child to that?

What about parents in poverty who can't afford to care for children or offer them material advantages the world seems to demand in order for those kids to compete? Won't they feel the shame of deprivation?

What about the overweight and out-of-shape? They're at risk for heart disease, diabetes, and surely won't have the energy to keep up with active kids. Also, obesity may have genetic components -- people are mean to heavy people. Who wants to be the class "fat kid"?

Hell, what about the ugly? This world is very focused on physical beauty; what a shame to bring children into this zeitgeist. Two ugly parents means the kids probably aren't going to be lookers, either.

Ridiculous? Absolutely. Some of these questions should piss you off. But those questions, many of them, have been taken seriously by some people. Read your history.

This is a very slippery slope.

Who would you appoint to make these decisions? Some of the most frightening acts are committed "for their own good." It's not a far step in thought process to go from "that's shameful" to "they shouldn't be allowed."

I'm not saying we can't discuss or have differing opinions, but the self-righteous tone some of you take is shameful and simple-minded. (But I'm not judging!)

Ultimately, the decision is deeply personal and made by the individual.

My father had a heart condition that he knew would likely kill him young. It did. My mother was not prepared by education or upbringing to provide for three children alone. She was avoidant and depressed and bitter much of her adult life. She did some things right; she made a mess of others. She was emotionally abusive and unavailable, and I had too much responsibility growing up. I believe she did the best she could.

Do I wish I'd never been born, or that they'd chosen not to have us because of the risks? No. I'm glad I'm here. The challenges made me stronger and more compassionate. I had to overcome a lot, both inside me and in my environment, to get as far as I've come, and I'm still working on it.

Whatever life hands you, you choose how to respond to it. The 67-year-old mother's children will have that choice as well. As someone once said, you can go into the gas chamber a prisoner, or you can go into the gas chamber free.
"Tell me, are you incapable of restraining yourself, or do you take pride in being an insufferable know-it-all?"

"Honey Badger don't care!"
This situation raises a LOT of deep ethical and philosophical questions that should not be treated glibly. Some of you have already raised some issues but think about others in the same category:

What about parents who have genetic diseases or disabilities, who know there is a good chance that the children will inherit same? Should you knowingly bring a child into the world who may suffer chronic pain, disfigurement, early death?

What about parents who are limited physically, emotionally, or intellectually -- who should decide if they should have children? Are the blind, deaf, depressed, lame, or chronically ill folks fit parents?

What about parents with histories of drug addiction or alcoholism? Even if they're clean now, relapse rates are high -- what if they relapse while the children are still young enough to need their care?

What about parents who belong to questionable organizations? What if they take their toddlers to Klan meetings?

What about the special challenges some people say that children of mixed religious/racial/national backgrounds face? For that matter, what about minority children who may face bigotry and hatred in this world? Why knowingly subject a child to that?

What about parents in poverty who can't afford to care for children or offer them material advantages the world seems to demand in order for those kids to compete? Won't they feel the shame of deprivation?

What about the overweight and out-of-shape? They're at risk for heart disease, diabetes, and surely won't have the energy to keep up with active kids. Also, obesity may have genetic components -- people are mean to heavy people. Who wants to be the class "fat kid"?

Hell, what about the ugly? This world is very focused on physical beauty; what a shame to bring children into this zeitgeist. Two ugly parents means the kids probably aren't going to be lookers, either.

Ridiculous? Absolutely. Some of these questions should piss you off. But those questions, many of them, have been taken seriously by some people. Read your history.

This is a very slippery slope.

Who would you appoint to make these decisions? Some of the most frightening acts are committed "for their own good." It's not a far step in thought process to go from "that's shameful" to "they shouldn't be allowed."

I'm not saying we can't discuss or have differing opinions, but the self-righteous tone some of you take is shameful and simple-minded. (But I'm not judging!)

Ultimately, the decision is deeply personal and made by the individual.

My father had a heart condition that he knew would likely kill him young. It did. My mother was not prepared by education or upbringing to provide for three children alone. She was avoidant and depressed and bitter much of her adult life. She did some things right; she made a mess of others. She was emotionally abusive and unavailable, and I had too much responsibility growing up. I believe she did the best she could.

Do I wish I'd never been born, or that they'd chosen not to have us because of the risks? No. I'm glad I'm here. The challenges made me stronger and more compassionate. I had to overcome a lot, both inside me and in my environment, to get as far as I've come, and I'm still working on it.

Whatever life hands you, you choose how to respond to it. The 67-year-old mother's children will have that choice as well. As someone once said, you can go into the gas chamber a prisoner, or you can go into the gas chamber free.
Originally Posted by fig jam
You raise interesting points. I don't necessarily see a slippery slope with this particular debate though because I don't think any one is suggesting that we pass a law or prevent people like this 67 year old from having children...only that some of us think it is a very bad idea and very irresponsible...others of us need more specific information, I suppose, though I cannot imagine any circumstances that would mitigate having a baby at that advanced age.
If there were more people on earth who desired their own happiness more than the unhappiness of others we would have a paradise ~ Bertrand Russell
I missed where anyone said you condoned it, medussa.
Originally Posted by Amneris
It's not my place to judge what others do
Originally Posted by Amneris
But you did it anyway, by calling this woman's situation shameful.

I personally would not choose to become a mother at 67. But I won't bash her for her decision.

I wish that woman and her children the best.
Originally Posted by medussa
It's definitely judging the circumstances in which this woman chose to have children but I don't think it is inappropriate to make such judgments.

In fact, I think it's pretty inappropriate and dangerous to pretend that this sort of thing is okay.


I like to be as liberal and progressive sounding as the next gal, but there is something very wrong with what this woman chose to do and seems very silly for us not to admit that.
Originally Posted by KatieCoolLady
KCL correlated not judging this woman's circumstances with "pretending that this sort of thing is okay."
fig jam wrote:

This situation raises a LOT of deep ethical and philosophical questions that should not be treated glibly. Some of you have already raised some issues but think about others in the same category:

What about parents who have genetic diseases or disabilities, who know there is a good chance that the children will inherit same? Should you knowingly bring a child into the world who may suffer chronic pain, disfigurement, early death?

What about parents who are limited physically, emotionally, or intellectually -- who should decide if they should have children? Are the blind, deaf, depressed, lame, or chronically ill folks fit parents?

What about parents with histories of drug addiction or alcoholism? Even if they're clean now, relapse rates are high -- what if they relapse while the children are still young enough to need their care?

What about parents who belong to questionable organizations? What if they take their toddlers to Klan meetings?

What about the special challenges some people say that children of mixed religious/racial/national backgrounds face? For that matter, what about minority children who may face bigotry and hatred in this world? Why knowingly subject a child to that?
What about parents in poverty who can't afford to care for children or offer them material advantages the world seems to demand in order for those kids to compete? Won't they feel the shame of deprivation?

What about the overweight and out-of-shape? They're at risk for heart disease, diabetes, and surely won't have the energy to keep up with active kids. Also, obesity may have genetic components -- people are mean to heavy people. Who wants to be the class "fat kid"?

Hell, what about the ugly? This world is very focused on physical beauty; what a shame to bring children into this zeitgeist. Two ugly parents means the kids probably aren't going to be lookers, either.
I agree with everything you mentioned (eta: not that the groups of people listed shouldn't have kids or that their kids are doomed, but that those are issues and dilemmas that many people have raised and faced and that there are prejudices against certain people procreating) and I agree that there are no easy answers. The bolded in particular is something I have thought about. My cousin got a vasectomy because of health issues in his family so as not to pass them on to a child.

To me personally, there is a difference if the people you mentioned conceive naturally, perhaps not even intentionally, and in an older person seeking out conception through medical intervention, and that's where I'm coming from. Unless minorities, the overweight, the disabled, people of different races, people with illnesses, poor people, former addicts, Klansmen, people deemed to be ugly etc. are all forbidden from having sex or are forcibly sterilized (which I am in no way advocating - that would be unconscionable) and never get raped, pregnancies are going to happen and not all be terminated.
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali











I missed where anyone said you condoned it, medussa.
Originally Posted by Amneris
It's not my place to judge what others do
Originally Posted by Amneris
But you did it anyway, by calling this woman's situation shameful.

I personally would not choose to become a mother at 67. But I won't bash her for her decision.

I wish that woman and her children the best.
Originally Posted by medussa
It's definitely judging the circumstances in which this woman chose to have children but I don't think it is inappropriate to make such judgments.

In fact, I think it's pretty inappropriate and dangerous to pretend that this sort of thing is okay.


I like to be as liberal and progressive sounding as the next gal, but there is something very wrong with what this woman chose to do and seems very silly for us not to admit that.
Originally Posted by KatieCoolLady
KCL correlated not judging this woman's circumstances with "pretending that this sort of thing is okay."
Originally Posted by medussa
Let me clarify, I don't think it is wrong to make a judgment about this particular issue (as people seemed to be suggesting regarding Amneris).

Though I did read the multiple posts taking issue with passing "judgment" against this mother to indeed imply some level of support for her actions. Perhaps, that was not the case.
If there were more people on earth who desired their own happiness more than the unhappiness of others we would have a paradise ~ Bertrand Russell
nature wants you to die.
Originally Posted by Lucille
Whether we accept it or not, we are all going to die so it would seem reasonable that we try to accept it.

Having some sort of standard for what behavior is acceptable or not (productive or not, moral or not, promotes survival or not, etc) is the age-old dilemna of being a human.

Attempting to use a natural standard for our behavior seems as reasonable an endeavor as any.
Originally Posted by KatieCoolLady
How do we decide what is a natural standard though? Do we base it on animal behavior? If so, we are in trouble--many normal animal behaviors would be considered unconscionable if performed by humans.
Originally Posted by iris427
I don't think it is hard to assume that nature did not intend for women approaching 70 to conceive children.
Originally Posted by Amneris
But we do lots of things with our bodies or to our bodies that nature never intended--including many of our customs regarding reproduction and childbirth. By the way, the current biological theory of why humans live long past menopause (which is extremely rare in nature and not found in other primates) is pretty interesting.

I just don't think we should condemn some things because nature did not "intend" them but not others.

Just wondering, if by some oddity of nature she conceived naturally and gave birth to these babies, would that have been okay??
Don't let your heart be broken. Let it love.
nature wants you to die.
Originally Posted by Lucille
Whether we accept it or not, we are all going to die so it would seem reasonable that we try to accept it.

Having some sort of standard for what behavior is acceptable or not (productive or not, moral or not, promotes survival or not, etc) is the age-old dilemna of being a human.

Attempting to use a natural standard for our behavior seems as reasonable an endeavor as any.
Originally Posted by KatieCoolLady
How do we decide what is a natural standard though? Do we base it on animal behavior? If so, we are in trouble--many normal animal behaviors would be considered unconscionable if performed by humans.
Originally Posted by iris427
I don't think it is hard to assume that nature did not intend for women approaching 70 to conceive children.
Originally Posted by Amneris
But we do lots of things with our bodies or to our bodies that nature never intended--including many of our customs regarding reproduction and childbirth. By the way, the current biological theory of why humans live long past menopause (which is extremely rare in nature and not found in other primates) is pretty interesting.

I just don't think we should condemn some things because nature did not "intend" them but not others.
Originally Posted by iris427
Looking for a natural standard regarding what human beings should or should not do is different from looking to the other animals in the animal kingdom as behavioral guides for humans.

In any case, it is simply one philosophical approach among many.
If there were more people on earth who desired their own happiness more than the unhappiness of others we would have a paradise ~ Bertrand Russell
Iris, I think the difference is that having children impacts on a lot more people than just oneself in a direct way. If someone wants to get Botox or treat their cancer, that is primarily their own affair. However, having children at 67 (and who's to say tomorrow it won't be 70, or 75, or 80) also affects the children, and more indirectly, the welfare and education system. You are not just prolonging an existing life but CREATING a new life, and I think that raises additional moral and ethical questions that need to be discussed.
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali











Just wondering, if by some oddity of nature she conceived naturally and gave birth to these babies, would that have been okay??
Originally Posted by Spider
It would be a tough row to hoe (just as with teen pregnancy) but it would not raise the same ethical issues, and would be something that perhaps was inevitable or unavoidable.
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali











You are not just prolonging an existing life but CREATING a new life, and I think that raises additional moral and ethical questions that need to be discussed.
Originally Posted by Amneris
So, prolonging Terry Shiavo's life didn't raise moral and ethical questions that need to be discussed? Since her life wasn't being "created" and she was merely being kept alive?
Just wondering, if by some oddity of nature she conceived naturally and gave birth to these babies, would that have been okay??
Originally Posted by Spider
We all know that people shouldn't have sex after 65.

j/k
If there were more people on earth who desired their own happiness more than the unhappiness of others we would have a paradise ~ Bertrand Russell
You are not just prolonging an existing life but CREATING a new life, and I think that raises additional moral and ethical questions that need to be discussed.
Originally Posted by Amneris
So, prolonging Terry Shiavo's life didn't raise moral and ethical questions that need to be discussed? Since her life wasn't being "created" and she was merely being kept alive?
Originally Posted by M2LR & Co.
It did, and that's an excellent example. I also did not agree with the prolonging of her life, and that issue also affected a lot of people.

I think the real issue is medical science going to extremes, whether with assisted reproduction, prolonging of life artificially, or whatever else.
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali











A -- Please elaborate about burdens on welfare and the education system. There's a very strong argument to be made that people having children later in life are more financially stable and "wealthier" than younger couples. As far as the education system, I'm assuming the child would be going to school regardless of the age of the parents.
nature wants you to die.
Originally Posted by Lucille
Whether we accept it or not, we are all going to die so it would seem reasonable that we try to accept it.

Having some sort of standard for what behavior is acceptable or not (productive or not, moral or not, promotes survival or not, etc) is the age-old dilemna of being a human.

Attempting to use a natural standard for our behavior seems as reasonable an endeavor as any.
Originally Posted by KatieCoolLady
How do we decide what is a natural standard though? Do we base it on animal behavior? If so, we are in trouble--many normal animal behaviors would be considered unconscionable if performed by humans.
Originally Posted by iris427
I don't think it is hard to assume that nature did not intend for women approaching 70 to conceive children.
Originally Posted by Amneris
But we do lots of things with our bodies or to our bodies that nature never intended--including many of our customs regarding reproduction and childbirth. By the way, the current biological theory of why humans live long past menopause (which is extremely rare in nature and not found in other primates) is pretty interesting.

I just don't think we should condemn some things because nature did not "intend" them but not others.
Originally Posted by iris427
Looking for a natural standard regarding what human beings should or should not do is different from looking to the other animals in the animal kingdom as behavioral guides for humans.

In any case, it is simply one philosophical approach among many.
Originally Posted by KatieCoolLady
I mention animals because there is so little that humans do that is not profoundly guided by culture, history and society, that it is virtually impossible to attribute any human standard of behavior to nature or a natural standard. The anthropological literature is full of examples of infaticide, adults having sexual relations with children, cannibalism, child neglect, rape, etc. that were all considered normal and acceptable behaviors in their respective societies. Thus you cannot say any of our values are natural for humans--they are all learned. So how do we say what is natural for humans unless we place it in a larger biological context?

Amneris, I agree that bringing a new life into the picture does create additional issues. But I think we should address those issues from ethical and philosophical standpoints, not "natural" ones. I think human societies should determine what is acceptable based on ethical concerns, not what we perceive to be nature's intent.

A -- Please elaborate about burdens on welfare and the education system. There's a very strong argument to be made that people having children later in life are more financially stable and "wealthier" than younger couples. As far as the education system, I'm assuming the child would be going to school regardless of the age of the parents.
Originally Posted by Discgirl
Welfare - who will take care of the kids if the mother dies and there are no other suitable or willing families?

I think having children later in life and being more financially stable would apply more to 40 year olds than someone on a pension who may need their savings in the near future for medical bills. A young couple may have less money, but also more time to save for both their old age and the childrens' future.

Education system - if the kids have development problems or inadequate parenting it makes life difficult for the teachers.
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali











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