Octuplet doctor expelled

It was world news when Nadya Suleman gave birth to octuplets last January.  When it turned out she was a single mother of 33 who already had 6 children under 7 (all by IVF), even the people who cheered this medical miracle loudest expressed some doubts about the wisdom of this intervention.

The American Society of Reproductive Medicine have now expelled dr. Michael Kamrava from their society because his pattern of behaviour is detrimental to the field, according to the spokesman of the ASRM. They also announced stricter guidelines on embryo transfers.

What is it with people wanting to turn the vagina into a clown car?

14 thoughts on “Octuplet doctor expelled

  1. What is it with you comparing a vagina to a clown car? This invokes some of the uglier metaphors about the vaginas of women who have sex with many people. It’s her body. She wanted to have these children. Get over it.

  2. Oh dear, I never realised that women having sex with many people was … ugly. Anyway.
    The argumentation puzzles me, philosophy student. So your argument is that just because she wanted something, it is ok?
    Can’t this lead to really nasty (or what I see as nasty, which is relative QED) arguments ranging from “But we want our big cars and air conditioned houses now, so it’s ok if we rob this planet bare of fossil fuels, and tough luck on future generations” to “But I wanted to drink myself silly every night when pregnant, so it’s ok my kid has fetal alcohol syndrome, tough luck”…. get over it?
    Just wondering.

  3. I, too, find the use the clown car metaphor offensive. It’s not because I think the idea of having sex with many people IS ugly, but because the use of that metaphor invokes a metaphor that is often used to perpetuate a label for a woman who does have sex with many people. I don’t side on the “she wanted it, so it must be right,” though, for the reasons cited above.

  4. P.S. I should add that I find it particularly disturbing on a feminist site, and one that usually I find well-reasoned, thoughtful, and not in the habit of using offensive terms for other people, particularly for other women.

  5. I kind of like the “clown car” metaphor, but for the uterus rather than the vagina. Surely there is a point, perhaps individually determined for each situation, where the quantity of children born at once leads to the resulting children being treated with less than adequate individual care and respect.

  6. I like the metaphor. I think it perfectly captures the idea of someone haphazardly stuffing a uterus full of embryos without due care and attention.

  7. As with so many metaphors, I think it’s great problem is that it’s not wholly clear what it’s getting at. I’m pretty sure the metaphor originated to call attention to the way that some people (specifically the Quiverfull sect?) believe that the sole purpose for women is to produce as many babies as possible. Referring to these people the idea was that they thought a woman’s sexual organs were simply objects to be filled with as many babies as one could. But it’s all too easily misunderstood as an incredibly regressive criticism of women who have multiple sex partners.

  8. It’s worth noting, by the way, that the multiple sex partner interpretation would make no sense in the context of Hippocampa’s post, since sex partners were not involved in the creation of the babies in question.

  9. Being a daft foreigner, I am completely unaware of the association of a clown car and women having a lot of sex. I am rather puzzled about how that came to be a metaphor.
    Checked one look dictionary and that only gave me the wiki entry. Apparently, the wiki peeps read our blog :P

  10. Don’t worry, hippocampa, I’m a U.S. native and not familiar with the multiple-sex-partner metaphor either. It doesn’t even make sense unless it’s simultaneous.

  11. True, lga. But neither does the baby one. Which makes it perfect for the octomom but not so good for the Quiverfull folks.

  12. correct me if i’m wrong, but i believe that, in the circus, the clowns all pile *out* of the car, not into it. so, the metaphor makes sense for zillions of babies coming out, doesn’t make sense so much for attacking a woman over what goes into her body.

    also, philosophy student: it’s not just ‘her body’. there are eight other bodies involved that don’t belong to her, but could be harmed by her decision.

  13. The “clown car” metaphor is reference to the tiny little car (these days more often seen on cartoons than real life) from which a seemingly unrealistic or impossible number of clowns come strolling out of, such as 20 clowns out of a volkswagon. womens bodys in general do not naturally make 8 babies at once, this woman was under the care of a doctor that knew better, and besides the danger and difficulty in this unusual situation, the fact sadly remains that the joke is on those poor kids because they’re mother decided to cram as many babies in as possible, the doctor helped her. and now she has too many babies,on welfare, with not enough attention ect. . just wait until they are all teenagers!!

  14. I am relieved, for a while I thought I had made a faux pas =).
    And I am still relieved that this guy, although he can still practice medicine, is removed from the society for the right reasons.

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