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          Octuplets Debate

          February 11, 2009

          Nadya Suleman, a single mother of six children, recently gave birth to the second-only set of octuplets recorded in the U.S. The event has the country talking! How will she care for 14 babies?

          Outrageous. Irresponsible. Insane. These strong words have been used to describe the recent birth of octuplets to Nadya Suleman, a 33-year-old single mom who already has six children under the age of 8. Instead of marveling at this medical miracle, the world has seen a passionate backlash, one that has reportedly escalated to death threats.

          Is the outrage justified against Nadya, who has no husband, no job and no home of her own? Are the newborns at risk? Will this mother be able to provide stability, or are the 14 children destined for a life of neglect and poverty?

          Dr. Phil and his panel of experts tackle this controversial story. He sits down with Joann Killeen, spokesperson for Nadya Suleman, and asks her the tough questions. Find out how she says Nadya plans to support her brood. Although Nadya says she will not rely on the government for assistance, she allegedly receives $490 a month in food stamps. Chris Myers, senior executive editor of, visited Nadya’s mother, Angela, at her 1,550 square-foot, three-bedroom house, where the octuplets’ mom and all of her children will live. Learn what Chris says he and his crew saw that shocked them.

          Then, Dr. Sara Rosenthal, a bioethicist, and Dr. Richard Paulson, a fertility specialist, weigh in on the ethical issues that have been raised. Reportedly, Nadya’s 14 children, including the octuplets, were born from embryos implanted by Dr. Michael Kamrava of West Coast IVF in Beverly Hills, California. Was this latest procedure performed outside the medical standard of care?

          Dr. Jim Sears, pediatrician and co-host of the hit series The Doctors, discusses the household expenses that Nadya is likely to incur. You won’t believe the annual cost of raising octuplets. Plus, Dr. Phil speaks with Kate Gosselin, mother of eight and star of TLC’s Jon & Kate Plus 8, who has advice for the octuplet mom.

          Dr. Phil’s Final Thought 

          “Kids should not be born with a job of healing their mother or filling her void. That’s not fair for children to come into this world with a job, and for her to make that decision is wrong,” Dr. Phil says. “She made that decision because she’s not psychologically equipped to make a better decision. So why not stop judging her for it. Get her some help for that.”

          Phil in the Blanks – The Podcast

          Special Thanks

          • Joann Killeen
            Spokesperson for Nadya Suleman
          • Chris Myers
            Senior executive editor of
          • Dr. Sara Rosenthal
            Bioethicist, University of Kentucky
          • Dr. Richard Paulson
            Fertility Specialist, USC 
          • Dr. Jim Sears
            Pediatrician and co-host of The Doctors
          • Kate Gosselin
            Star of TLC’s Jon & Kate Plus 8

          Related Resource

          Multiple Blessings
          By Jon & Kate Gosselin and Beth Carson

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