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Education And Debate

An Ethical Debate: Can older women cope with motherhood?

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: (Published 03 June 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:1456
  1. Jennifer Jackson, senior lecturera
  1. a Department of Philosophy, University of Leeds, Leeds

    The reasons put about for refusing in vitro fertilisation to postmenopausal women may seem feeble—as if people first of all feel uncomfortable about such treatment then cast around for reasons to justify their misgivings.

    Some consider that these older women are less likely to benefit than younger women in the competition for treatment. But I do not want to go into the vexed issue of “fair shares.” Resources aside, underlying people's misgivings is the thought that even though technology can fit such women for pregnancy, it does not fit them for parenthood—they are too old to be adequate parents to young children.

    Is it wrong for …

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