18/01/2010 04:02 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Should A 59-Year-Old Be Allowed IVF?

A 59-year-old British woman has been offered IVF treatment by a British clinic - kicking off a media storm.

Susan Tollefsen is now said to be the oldest woman to be offered help to conceive in the UK.

She already has one child after fertility treatment at a Moscow clinic two years ago.

Most British clinics don't treat women over the age of 50, and the NHS won't treat women older than 39.

However it has been reported that the London Women's Clinic in Harley Street has offered Mrs Tollefsen treatment.

She told the Daily Mail: "I'm still so full of life and healthy at [nearly] 60 I don't see any reason why I shouldn't be treated.

"I know other people are looking forward to retirement and so on, while I'm looking forward to kindergarten and infant school. I would encourage other women my age to do this."

However there has been widespread criticism of the move with some demanding that there should be a legal age limit for treatment.

Michaela Aston, of national charity Life, told the Mail: "This is a woman who will be of pensionable age by the time the child is born. The child will be subject to ridicule.

"When tampering with the well-being and health and happiness of a child there needs to be responsible parenting - and conceiving a child outside the natural sphere of things, particularly over 60, is not responsible at all."

Peter Bowen-Simpkins, medical director of the London Women's Clinic, said staff had agreed women over the age of 50 should now be offered treatment.

He told the Daily Mail: "Everyone agreed that we should change the policy and now treat women over the age of 50 on a case-by-case basis.

"Sue will still have to go through more detailed assessment. She'll have to be seen by our counsellor and get a supporting letter from her GP. We'll also want to know that her partner is 100 per cent supportive of her decision.

"But we'll consider her now for treatment if she wants to go ahead, yes."

There are all sorts of people who shouldn't be allowed to be parents, and we can't stop them, so I don't see why we should stop this women just because she's older.

What do you think? Should there be an age limit?

Source: Daily Mail