Harvesting What?

Sperm-Whale

Here’s one I wasn’t aware of: using a dead man’s sperm to father a child. Apparently, a growing number of wives and parents request this, and it’s been possible for several decades. Some ethical/practical questions are being asked:

  • Did the deceased ever consent to have his sperm used for reproduction?
  • Is it in the best interests of the child?
  • Who can make the request for the sperm–a wife? child? parent? sibling? gay partner? estate executor?
  • What if someone tried to sell it? People might line up for the chance to “have a baby with” a dead celebrity or athlete.
  • Should there be a waiting time (a year after the person’s death, for instance) to avoid emotion-laden decisions?
  • Would this child share in the deceased’s estate? Would estate distributions be postponed until all harvested sperm has been used, and there are definitely not going to be more children?

In previous years, society would have said, “By no means will we allow this!!!” The fact that discussion is occurring about HOW to do it tells me something very warped has occurred.

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