A woman who was once the world's oldest mother has died from cancer aged 69. María Carmen del Bousada de Lara, from Spain, gave birth to twins two years ago using IVF. She received fertility treatment in Los Angeles, California, after misleading doctors about her age and gave birth to two boys in Barcelona at the age of 66. It is reported that Ms Bousada paid around £30,000 for treatment at the Pacific Fertility Centre where she told doctors that she was 55 to avoid the clinic's age limit for treatment. Her doctor later said that had she known Ms Bousada's real age she would not have performed the procedure.
There is no legal age limit for fertility treatment in Spain and although in the UK the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA)does not set an age limit either, clinics must consider the welfare of the child above all other considerations. In practice, clinics in the UK do not provide treatment for the over 60s and, inparticular,the National Health Service (NHS)does not usually offer state-funded IVF to women over 35. Commentators have expressed concern that because of their age older mothers may find it difficult to raise their children, especially during the teenage years. ‘We think a limit of 45 should be established in law. Cases like this not only create physical dangers for the mother but many family complications,' said Nuria Terribas, from the Borja Bioethics Institute based in Barcelona. Joseph Torrence, of the Catholic group Iglesia Plural, said that ‘the most important thing is the children are left unprotected, which should not be allowed', adding: 'What is needed are stricter controls to stop this happening again.'
Reproduced with permission from BioNews, an email and online sources of news, information and comment on assisted reproduction and genetics.
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