Carmela Bousada is believed to be the world's oldest mother. The beginning of this Associated Press story is very uplifting. Her dream has always been to have a child. She sold her house in Spain to raise the money to pay for fertility treatments in California. She gave birth to twins on December 29th.
"I think everyone should become a mother at the right time for them," Bousada said in a video of the interview provided to Associated Press Television News.Happily ever after, right? Not quite. Here's the rest of the story....
The Pacific Fertility Center in Los Angeles has a policy which states that anyone over the age of 55 years old cannot receive treatment. How old was Carmella when she became a patient there? She was 66 years old! And, she just turned 67 years old this month.
How could this happen? There are many angles on this story. I will only analyze two (or three) of them below...
Fertility Center Responsibility: This is the obvious place to point the finger. According to clinic policies, presentation of a passport is required before any treatments are started. In the article, the clinic director is quoted as saying, "We do check identity." Is it me, or does anyone else think that this clinic will not be open much longer?
"Often circumstances put you between a rock and a hard place and maybe things shouldn't have been done in the way they were done but that was the only way to achieve the thing I had always dreamed of and I did it," she [Bousada] said.Personal Responsibility: How many times have I talked about personal patient responsibility on this blog? To lie to get what you want? Sheesh! That's a great first lesson to teach your twins.
"Mommy, tell me the story of how we came into the world?" Does Carmella think that she can tell her twins any 'ol story about how she started in Spain by selling her house to come to the land of opporunity. Then, she LIED to get what she wants? Does she think they'll never know? What's up with that?
The gentleman pictured above is Niccolò Machiavelli. Sound vaguely familiar? Many associate him with the phrase "the ends justify the means."
I try to understand the passion people have about becoming a parent and being a parent. (Full disclosure: I am not a parent myself). But, for someone to do this, and for the clinic to allow this to happen. I just don't get it.
People are probably asking why I even care about this story. What's done is done, right? My question is if this person will take responsibility for what she's done. Yes, she has twins now, and that's enough. Or, is it?
Yes, she sold her house for her dream. But, who is paying for the care of her twins who were born seven weeks premature? This is not a political blog, but if the tax payers of California are subsidizing people who lie to get fertility treatment, and are paying for neonatal intensive care for her twins, wouldn't people want to know about that? Does the end justify the means?