• Switzerland edition
 
Swiss fury over 66-year-old mum of twins
Jozef Kotulic (File)

Swiss fury over 66-year-old mum of twins

Published: 05 Mar 2012 12:13 GMT+01:00
Updated: 05 Mar 2012 11:06 GMT+01:00

Commentators have reacted angrily to news that a 66-year-old retired member of the clergy has given birth to twins following in-vitro fertilisation treatment in Ukraine.  

She gave birth to the twin boys by Caesarian some two weeks ago at the hospital in canton Graubünden's chief town of Chur, where all three are still under observation.

While Switzerland only permits IVF treatment if parents are young enough to be able to accompany their child through to maturity, Ukraine provides IVF treatment regardless of age.

The unnamed sexagenarian mother plans to raise the children in her four-room apartment in the village of Grüsch in Graubünden. The former Protestant cleric is the oldest woman known to have given birth in Switzerland and will be 84 by the time her children come of age.

"It's incredible what medicine can do nowadays. I want to enjoy this event now in peace," newspaper SonntagsBlick quoted her as saying.

But the births have outraged many, with one commentator in the Swiss newspaper Le Matin attacking the woman for her "selfishness" and "irresponsibility", saying that her twins, named Joshua and Michael, would be spending their teenage years ensuring their mother has a place in an old people's home. 

A neighbour in Grüsch echoed the sentiments, telling SonntagsBlick, "It's pure selfishness, and not good for the children."

Indignation was also the main reaction on internet chat forums on Monday.

“We must accept certain limits of nature and keep common sense in mind,” Dr. Olivier Irion, chief medical officer of the department of obstetrics and gynaecology at the University Hospital of Geneva told Le Matin.

In vitro fertilisation should be reserved for younger women with problems conceiving, he added.

But Lorenz Casutt-Peng, the deputy mayor of Grüsch welcomed the birth, saying, "Children are our future and it's a good thing that both the children and their mother are doing well."

Online news website Blick has queried whether Swiss nationals should be able to get around the law on IVF by travelling to another country for fertilisation. The Protestant Church also believes the Swiss law should be respected.

“Whoever decides after due consideration to make use of this technique should be free to do so. But only if it complies with statutory limits,” Philippe Woodtli, director of the Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches told Blick.

Pregnancy among women in their sixties is increasing, news website Le Matin reported. In the past five years, four mothers over the age of 60 have given birth in Switzerland alone.

"In general, the desire for pregnancy is occurring later than in the past," said Dr. Irion.

The previous record in Switzerland was held by a woman who was 64 when she had a baby girl, while reports suggest that the world's oldest new mother is an Indian woman who gave birth to twins at the age of 70.

Lyssandra Sears/The Local/AFP (news@thelocal.ch)

Your comments about this article

2012-03-09 11:38:21 by vlanery
This woman was fertilized with IVF in BioTexCom Clinic in Kiev, Ukraine http://mother-surrogate.info/
Today's headlines
Nadal calls time as Federer advances
Nadal: calling it quits for the season after upset loss. Photo: AFP

Nadal calls time as Federer advances

Teenage wildcard Borna Coric stunned Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals of the Swiss Indoors tennis tournament in Basel on Friday, a defeat which marked the end of the Spaniard's season. Home favourite Roger Federer meanwhile claimed a spot in the semifinals. READ  

Glacier 3000 opens new mountaintop bridge
The new bridge connects Glacier 3000 with Scex Rouge. Photo: Peak Walk by Tissot

Glacier 3000 opens new mountaintop bridge

The new ‘Peak Walk’ at Glacier 3000, the world’s first suspension bridge to connect two mountain peaks, was inaugurated on Friday. READ  

Snake smugglers caught by Swiss border guards
Two boa constrictors were found in Basel. Photo: Anup Shah

Snake smugglers caught by Swiss border guards

Swiss border guards discovered four snakes during the course of two separate controls this week, federal customs authorities said on Friday. READ  

Report: Switzerland ideal for Mars simulator
UNIL's report said Switzerland would be ideal for a Mars project. Photo: UNIL

Report: Switzerland ideal for Mars simulator

Switzerland could play a vital part in the mission to Mars, according to a report by the University of Lausanne (UNIL) which concludes that Romandie is the perfect place to test conditions faced by humans in a journey to the red planet. READ  

Basel private bank raided in German tax probe
Safra Sarasin is based in Basel. Photo: Michelle Kinsey Bruns

Basel private bank raided in German tax probe

Police in Switzerland have raided the offices of the private bank Safra Sarasin as part of a probe by German authorities into alleged tax fraud, Swiss newspaper Tages Anzeiger reported on Friday. READ  

Swiss banker arrested over Hoeness tax fraud
Hoeness was jailed for tax evasion to the tune of 28.5 million euros. Photo: Stuart Franklin/Pool/AFP

Swiss banker arrested over Hoeness tax fraud

Polish authorities said Thursday they had arrested a Swiss banker wanted by Germany on suspicion of tax fraud that a report said may involve the jailed former Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness. READ  

Federer reaches quarters in hometown event
Federer celebrates another win in Basel. Photo: AFP/Fabrice Coffini

Federer reaches quarters in hometown event

Roger Federer shrugged off dropping the first set against journeyman Denis Istomin on Thursday before hitting back to win 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 and reach the Swiss Indoors quarterfinals. READ  

Hitler coffee cream pot company faces closure
Hitler and Mussolini featured on the creamer lids. Photo: SRF

Hitler coffee cream pot company faces closure

The company that designed the coffee cream pot lids featuring images of Hitler and Mussolini is facing bankruptcy after Swiss supermarket chain Migros said it planned to terminate its contract with the Bern-based outfit. READ  

Body of Czech climber found after 40 years
The body was found near Mount Titlis. Photo: Caroline Bishop/The Local

Body of Czech climber found after 40 years

The body of a Czech hiker who disappeared 40 years ago after an avalanche in Switzerland has been found on a glacier in the Bernese alps, Bern cantonal police reported on Thursday. READ  

Doctor: Schumacher needs 'years to recover'
Schumacher suffered severe head injuries in a ski accident in December. Photo: AFP

Doctor: Schumacher needs 'years to recover'

A French doctor treating stricken former Formula One champion Michael Schumacher said on Thursday that the German ace was making progress, but will need years to recover. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Red faces at Migros over Hitler and Mussolini coffee cream pots
National
Majority of Swiss back proposed new immigration curbs: poll
Features
Eritrean asylum seekers find refuge in Swiss monastery town
National
Expat American professor disputes 'unjust' Swiss citizenship rejection
National
Sputtering eurozone drags down Swiss economic growth forecast
Features
Swiss-based English expat writer lauds immigrant 'brains and brawn'
International
Our survey: Switzerland third priciest for food and drink from back home
National
Zurich market gardener sets world 'record' for heaviest pumpkin
National
Report: Switzerland's residents richer than before economic crash
Features
Geneva lab sleuths use high tech to help art world uncover fakes
National
Father of Scot missing since early September fears Swiss trauma
National
Foreign women give birth to rising share of newborns: latest figures
National
'Giant's penis' bloom in Basel uni botanical garden bigger than ever
National
Switzerland's voters reject public health insurance proposal
National
Zooming foreign immigration continues to boost Swiss population
National
Scientific study rings alarm over wellbeing of Swiss cows with bells
National
Geneva MP seeks ban on charging for tap water in restaurants
Business & Money
Switzerland's residents top world financial wealth list: Allianz report
National
Saint Maurice abbey in Valais celebrates 1,500 years of history
National
Streaming movie video service Netflix arrives in Switzerland
National
Professional Chilean base jumper dives to death in Swiss Alps
Education
ETH Zurich remains top university in Europe: QS world rankings
National
Switzerland's housing vacancy rate jumps: new federal figures
National
Swiss football club fires team masseuse over explicit sex video
National
Geneva police arrest easyJet passenger over hand luggage row
Business & Money
Latest forecasts for Swiss economic growth turn less bullish
Sport
Formula One legend Schumacher to continue treatment at Swiss home
National
Former federal planning official calls for nine Swiss cantons
Features
The Local gets the lowdown on mushroom picking in Switzerland
National
Virgin boss Richard Branson's son rescued from peak of Matterhorn
National
Swiss President Didier Burkhalter's commute turns Twitter sensation
Features
High-tech cameras give dizzy view of Eiger's north face (VIDEO)
Politics
Baden municipal council strips 'nude selfies mayor' of duties
Business & Money
Switzerland stays atop competitiveness table for sixth year
National
Federal parliament secretary agrees to step down over nude selfies
National
Swiss residents pick Swedes as ideal European soul mates: survey
National
Zurich officials call project to move prostitutes to 'sex boxes' a success
National
Swiss gays recognized as parents of child born to surrogate mother
Health
Increase in mountain bike accidents keeps Swiss hospitals busy
National
Swiss policeman belatedly honoured for saving Jews from Holocaust
National
'Suicide tourists' to Switzerland double in three years: study
National
Swiss Post SMS scheme gets stamp of approval after pilot project
Business & Money
American tax evasion crackdown hits Swiss private banks' bottom line
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

2,229
jobs available