Just because science can, doesn’t mean science should

By Anita Doberman: PNT Columnist

A few days ago the Hindustan Times reported that Rajo Devi, a 70 year old Indian woman gave birth to a baby girl, becoming the world’s oldest woman to birth a child. Ms. Devi and her husband, age 72, used in vitro fertilization.

The fact that a woman older than my mom gave birth to a child certainly titillates my imagination — how constipated was she after giving birth? Is she going to breastfeed? Co-sleep? What about attending mommy and me classes? But Ms. Devi’s case also makes me think about whether we can tell someone when or how to have children.

Despite the fact that in July another Indian septuagenarian was reported to have given birth to twins via IVF, and a 66-year-old Spanish woman had twins in 2006, this is a symbolic issue, not a common problem. Those cases are very few and far in between. I don’t foresee a market for nursing homes with play groups.

We are however, pushing traditional boundaries when it comes to conception, birth and death.