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Sikh News Sikh woman at 60 becomes Canada's oldest mother (The Times of India)

Discussion in 'Breaking News' started by Sikh News Reporter, Feb 7, 2009.

  1. Sikh News Reporter

    Sikh News Reporter United States
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    A 60-year-old Sikh woman has become the oldest mother in Canada by giving birth to twin boys in Calgary city this week.

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    Re: Sikh woman at 60 becomes Canada's oldest mother

    source: globeandmail.com: Abuse – and anger


    Editorial:

    Abuse – and anger


    From Saturday's Globe and Mail
    February 6, 2009 at 11:22 PM EST


    Ranjit Hayer was declined infertility treatments in Canada for good and obvious reasons. The woman is 60 years old. Any resulting pregnancy would be inherently high-risk, both for the mother and children. With so much at stake, it is ethically wrong for physicians to assist in bringing about such a pregnancy.

    But the Hayers would not take no for an answer; they would not accept the verdict either of health-care professionals in this country who refused to perform the treatments – or of nature. Instead, the Hayers returned to their native India, where unscrupulous practitioners arranged a pregnancy in a woman who in this country would be considered too old even to adopt. The costs of that pregnancy are not only being borne by Ms. Hayer's health, however, which would be bad enough. They are also borne by Canada's public health-care system.

    After the donor-egg IVF treatment, Ms. Hayer returned to Canada. Unsurprisingly, she has had a very difficult pregnancy, with the result that costly medical interventions have been necessary, including the termination of one fetus (Ms. Hayter originally carried triplets), potentially fatal hemorrhaging, and premature births of the remaining twins, who are in neonatal intensive care. While people no doubt understand the Hayers' happiness, there is a great deal of debate – indeed anger – over their actions.

    That anger should not be directed at the work of fertility clinics in Canada. Abuse of reproductive technologies by older couples who go to extreme lengths overseas does not reflect negatively on the application of those technologies in this country. Inevitably, some medical ethicists will seize on the Hayers' case to call for more regulations over these procedures in Canada. Those calls should be rejected.

    The real question is what, if anything, can be done to prevent older couples from following the Hayers' lead and going offshore to procure such pregnancies. The answer, sadly, is very little. When people such as Ms. Hayer show up at Canadian hospitals and doctors' offices requiring medical attention, they cannot and must not be turned away. The two Hayer babies similarly are not responsible for the age of their mother or the manner of their conception. They are entitled to the best medical care this country can provide.

    All that Canada can do, really, is to formalize through diplomatic channels the disapproval felt by many ordinary Canadians at the irresponsibility of India in failing to control its doctors.

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    source: http://www.calgaryherald.com/Health/Health+officials+split+over+cost+treating+year/1264809/story.html


    Health officials split over cost of treating 60-year-old mom



    Some question paying for surgery done elsewhere



    By Michelle Lang, Calgary Herald - February 7, 2009



    The hospital bill for a 60-year-old Calgary mother and her premature twins could reach nearly $6,000 a day, leading critics to question whether the Canadian health system should pick up the tab for procedures performed in other countries.

    Ranjit Hayer gave birth to two boys at the Foothills Hospital this week after travelling to her native India for in vitro fertilization treatments with donated eggs.

    Hayer was too old to undergo the procedure at Canadian clinics, which usually won't treat women over the age of 50.

    Calgary health officials refused to discuss Hayer's case, but confirmed Friday it costs $2,500 to care for one infant in neonatal intensive care, plus $800 a day to care for a new mom -- a total daily hospital bill of about $5,800.

    Some physicians expressed concern Alberta's health budget is being spent on a patient who underwent treatment outside Canada and is well beyond her normal reproductive years.

    "I very much object to the resources this woman has used in the health system. We have spent a lot of money on her," said Dr.Cal Greene, the medical director of a Calgary-based fertility clinic.

    "In Alberta, where we have limited resources, I'd rather see those resources used in the normal age group."

    But Hayer's family said Friday they can't understand why her situation has generated so much controversy.

    "No one should be telling them what to do," said Tony Hayer, Ranjit's nephew.
    "There are no issues as far as they are concerned. . . . She's feeling happy and overjoyed."

    Hayer and her husband, Jagir, both 60 and originally from India, have been trying unsuccessfully to have children for about four decades.

    She is believed to be the oldest woman to give birth in Canada after delivering the fraternal twins on Tuesday via caesarean section.

    The two boys--Manjot and Gurpreet --are said to be in good health but were seven weeks premature and required treatment in the neonatal intensive care unit at Foothills.

    The babies are expected to stay in hospital for one month, although they likely won't require intensive care for the entire time.

    Hayer also remains in hospital, where she is recovering from several complications from the pregnancy.

    Medical ethicists said Friday that Hayer's health-care bill is an issue, noting Alberta's health system is facing an operating deficit of $700 million.

    "At a system level we have scarce resources," said Juliet Guichon, a bioethicist and lawyer at the University of Calgary.

    "This cost is huge and it has to be absorbed."

    But Guichon said it would be unethical for the Calgary medical system to turn away a patient in need.

    She also noted the medical system treats patients even if society doesn't tolerate or respect their actions--for example, drunk drivers who are injured.

    Dr. Kerry Bowman, a clinical ethicist at the University of Toronto, agreed health providers must not judge patients.

    He also noted the health system treats many patients who have procedures performed in other countries--from hip replacements to organ transplants.

    "They go and come back and we pick up the pieces," Bowman said. "I can't say (the cost of Hayer's care) offends me."

    Jagir Hayer, meanwhile, has defended the decision to seek fertility treatments overseas with his wife, saying Thursday they wanted to take advantage of the medical technology that is finally available.

    mlang@theherald.canwest.com

    © Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald

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