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Sunday, April 05, 2009

SOUND OFF: EIGHT IS MORE THAN ENOUGH

In an unscientific poll on my column's blog, 88 percent of my respondents thought that there was something wrong with Nadya Suleman, a Californian mother of six, being allowed to receive fertility treatments that resulted in her giving birth to octuplets.

It didn't matter to 55 percent of my respondents that Suleman was unmarried, but 85 percent said that it did matter if she was on public assistance. Only 15 percent believed that the whole issue should be a private decision between the mother and her doctor.

Californians seemed particularly outraged.

"There appears to be a profound lapse in judgment by everyone involved," writes Bill Wotring of Fullerton, Calif.

"Everything was wrong with her decision," writes Carole Heston of southern California.

"The doctor blew it," writes Carroll Straus of Orange County, Calif. "Big time."

"Basically it comes down to what is best for the child," writes Merrilee Gardner of Irvine, Calif. "There is nothing I see in this that was best for the children."

Check out other opinions here, or post your own by clicking on "Comments" or "Post a comment" below.

Jeffrey L. Seglin, author of The Right Thing: Conscience, Profit and Personal Responsibility in Today's Business and The Good, the Bad, and Your Business: Choosing Right When Ethical Dilemmas Pull You Apart, is an associate professor at Emerson College in Boston, where he teaches writing and ethics. He is also the administrator of The Right Thing, a Web log focused on ethical issues.

Do you have ethical questions that you need answered? Send them to rightthing@nytimes.com or to "The Right Thing," The New York Times Syndicate, 500 Seventh Avenue, 8th floor, New York, NY 10018. Please remember to tell me who you are, where you're from, as well as where you read the column.

c.2009 The New York Times Syndicate (Distributed by The New York Times Syndicate)

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