Six Kids, Eight More: Ethicists Speak Out

"There is still insufficient oversight of who can use infertility services in this country, what they are told about the risks of mega-multiple pregnancies, what they are told about their options to manage mega-multiple pregnancies and with what force by doctors and what sort of follow-up care the family and babies receive," he said. "Nor is there enough attention being paid what sort of support society is or is not willing to extend to families who choose to have many children all at once."

Donn said one idea is for patients to sign a contract with their doctors indicating that they understand the potential outcomes of a fertility procedure and what steps they are willing to take if they find themselves with a potential mega-multiple pregnancy.

But until more details about the California case in particular become clear, Mount Sinai's Holzman said it is unlikely that the public will have a clear picture of what exactly happened and why.

"In the end, this story is one that feels wrong, yet the real meat is in the details, which none of us have," Holzman said. "Ethics is about motivation, intention and justification, and it is hard to support or criticize without details."

Reporting from Mike von Fremd, Lauren Sher and Lee Ferran contributed to this report.

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