The Internet is agog with the news that a 72 year old woman and her 79 year old husband have become first time parents in Haryana, India. Daljinder Kaur and her husband Mohinder Singh Gill, originally from Amritsar, used donated eggs and underwent three rounds of IVF under Dr. Anurag Bishnoi, owner of National Fertility Centre.
The debate is whether it was her reproductive right to have a child or whether it’s a child protection issue due to their advanced age and concerns over the child’s future. Cases like these have caused the Indian medical community to lobby for a bill banning fertility treatment for women aged 50 and above, due to health risks associated with both mother and child. This will regulate the country’s estimated 2000 fertility treatment centers and bring them in line with best international practices.
We spoke to our own Dr. Zeryab Setna, an esteemed gynecologist and fertility expert. He says, “Such a pregnancy is an old woman is unnatural and has its own ethical issues. The stress of pregnancy on an old woman, increased risk of high blood pressure, diabetes and other associated co-morbidities. Its also not easy raising a child at that age.” We also asked him if he would ever perform such a procedure and he said “Definitely not!”
On a medical standpoint it seems clear it’s not in the best interest of the mother and child. However, what about the other side of the debate that it’s her body and desire to have a biological child. If we impose legal limitations on women and their bodies, even in regards to old age pregnancy, will it open Pandora’s box?
What you do you think readers?