Friday, May 28, 2010

Test-tube love?

Woman, 60, gives birth to twins—report

BEIJING – A 60-year-old retiree has become the oldest woman in China to give birth, bearing twins after becoming pregnant via in-vitro fertilization, state media reported Thursday.

The woman, whose real name was not given, gave birth to the two baby girls prematurely on Tuesday in Hefei, capital of the eastern province of Anhui, the official China Daily said.

The births came 34 weeks after she became impregnated to ease the pain caused by the death of her 28-year-old daughter, Tingting, who died in a "gas poisoning" incident early last year along with her husband, it said.

"Their cry resembles my late daughter," she was quoted as saying after the birth were born via Caesarean section.

"The girls give me and my husband the courage to live on. Despite the fact that we are old, we have the confidence to bring them up."
My heart always goes out to a mother who loses her child, at whatever age each may be. In the imperfect world where we live, there is always the possibility for heartbreaking personal tragedies, and it remains for us to grasp at a stronghold in order to cope with the emotional trauma. In this case, the distraught Chinese mother resorted to assuage her loss by a most extraordinary means. She attempts to replace her loss with an artificially-generated, technological solution. Amazing even as it transpires, the fact is she can never really replace the loss of her 28-year old daughter with her artificially-conceived twins, although one hopes and prays that everything turns out for the better - for everyone. The 60-year old Chinese mother must have struck into this reality when she said that "despite the fact that we are old, we have the confidence to bring them up". This reality check tells us that the average Chinese lifespan is at 73 years. This reality check also tells us that some definite point in the near future, she and her husband will have to leave the twins at their tender years when they would need their presence the most. The twins will be orphaned minors at that moment, and sooner or later they would also be sadly pondering at the loss of their biological parents. One wonders even with rapid technological advances whether science would be in a position to help the twins by creating a laboratory-generated set of parents for them - or whether love can actually be generated from the laboratory. One can only hope and pray that when the time comes, these twins can grasp at a stronghold... one that lasts and endures forever.

PS -For the Catholic position on in-vitrio fertilization, see Donum Vitae (The Gift of Life)

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