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'Change IVF law' call as all six die.

A DOCTOR who cared for the sextuplets after they were born has called for an overhaul of Bahrain's laws and a limit on how many embryos can be implanted through IVF.

Salmaniya Medical Complex (SMC) consultant neonatologist Dr Mohammed Al Rufie said other countries allowed just two embryos to be implanted at any one time, which reduced the risk of such "tragedies".

"No legal action can be taken because there is no law in Bahrain against such extreme procedures," he said.

"The mother was aware of what was being done and she was OK with it.

"But that does not mean it is a recommended procedure, considering the physical and mental well-being of the mother.

"Parents who are desperate for children will go to any extent to have them.

"But there should be a law in Bahrain that limits the number of eggs to be implanted, maybe one or maximum two.

"In the UK, the maximum number of eggs that can be implanted in a female uterus is two.

"A similar law should be passed in Bahrain that would reduce the risk of multiple births and thus cases like the recent tragedy."

He said his sympathies went out to the parents of the sextuplets, who he said suffered a massive trauma despite being warned that their children could die.

"I really feel sorry for these parents more than for the babies," said Dr Al Rufie.

"The mother carried the babies in her womb for nearly seven months, which is enough to emotionally bond with them.

"The IVF treatment is an intensive procedure and such parents' hopes are high.

"It was traumatic for them and I saw them suffering in silence, trying to come to terms with the tragedy.

"Nothing can be compared to the agony that the parents go through - it's indescribable."

However, Dr Al Rufie criticised parents who rush to private clinics when similar treatment at government facilities is not immediately fruitful.

"Similar treatment is also given at BDF Hospital, but they don't implant more than two eggs at a time," he said.

"But people who want quicker results approach private clinics that implant up to four."

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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Date:Jul 16, 2008
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