Minister interferes in ethical row

A 62 year old woman who gave birth last week to a bouncing baby boy was mired in controversy yet again at the weekend. 

Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt has waded into the row over the ethicalness of older mothers having children and seems to be lending her support to the new mum, Patti Farrant.

Mrs Farrant, a Psychiatrist, decided to undergo fertility treatment abroad in order make her husband, John, 61, a proud father.

Proud parents, Patti and John, are said to be thrilled and describe Baby JJ as 'absolutely gorgeous.'

The treatment began in Italy, but when Italian laws changed she had to venture as far as Russia for the treatment she desired.

Critics have claimed that this was a selfish act but in an unprecedented show of public support, the Health Secretary, who has presided over failing NHS defecits, has defended Mrs Farrant's decision to give birth so late on in life.

She said on a Sunday programme: 'Having a baby late on in life should be a matter for the woman and the Doctor's concerned. We are the first generation where you can have two women of the same age, one of whom is becoming a grandmother where the other one is pregnant.'

Critics add that when the child is in his teens, the time where most children need their parent's most, ageing Patti will be in her late 70's.

A source for the British Fertility Society claimed that fertility treatment was not designed for older mothers who had gone through menopause and that generally older fathers were having this type of treatment with women half their age.

The Farrant's have the support from a variety of political pursuasions including Liberal Democrat MP Evan Harris.

Patti has three other children, ranging from 18-26.

Edward Sames, 24, Trainee Doctor of St Bartholomews Medical College, said: ' I don't know why Patricia Hewitt has got into this row. It's Biological fact that the average age for women to have the menopause is 51 and the risk of children having multiple disorders is 1 in 10.'

He added: 'I don't think that fertility treatment should be made avaliable on the NHS, as it is wrong to meddle in science and nature. It's hypocrisy for Patricia Hewitt to play the gender card when it is biological fact that men and women are built differently.'