The oldest woman to have a child died recently at age 69. Maria del Carmen Bousada de Lara leaves behind her 2½ year old twin sons after succumbing to stomach cancer.
In an interview very close to her death, she said she had no regrets on becoming a Mother 18 years after going through menopause. The BBC channel 4 interviewed Maria for their documentary called “The World’s oldest Mums”. In that special she expressed hope for a cure for her cancer that she believed was not a result of the aggressive hormone treatments she received to become pregnant.
Maria came to the US for IVF treatments telling her doctors that she was 55 and not telling her family in Spain about her plans. She sold her home in Barcelona to fund the treatments. Spain has an age limit on IVF treatments of 50. In the US there are no set age limits. The LA clinic she chose sets the woman’s age to 55, just what Maria told them was her age.
Maria cared for and lived with her Mother until her death at age 101.
Thinking she had longevity on her side and a younger than her age appearance, it is not ridiculous to think she could have fooled herself and her doctors that becoming a Mother at age 66 was a good idea. Science and technology can make a uterus vital again. Medical ethics is getting much attention with Michael Jackson’s death and the OctoMom’s births. Doctors know patients lie to them all the time about compliance issues, high risk issues, etc., it is part of their job. The question remains just because something can be done should it be done?
Maria has a 35 year old nephew who will raise her sons. Her brother, who is 70, has said that she was paid for her ‘Mum’ story and set that money aside for the children’s care. The desire to become a Mother can be very strong for some women. In this case I hope it was not the treatments for Maria to achieve her goal to be a Mother at all costs that caused her death.