Sperm Harvesting and Post-Mortem Fatherhood
Murphy, Timothy F.
Bioethics. 1995 Oct; 9(5): 380-398.
The motives and consequences of harvesting sperm from brain dead males for the purpose of effecting post mortem fatherhood are examined. I argue that sperm harvesting and post mortem fatherhood raise no harms of a magnitude that would justify forbidding the practice outright. Dead men are not obviously harmed by the practice; children need not be harmed by this kind of birth; and the practice enlarges rather than diminishes the reproductive choices of surviving partners. Certain ethical and legal issues nevertheless require attention. As a matter of consistency with other harvesting protocols, there ought to be a mechanism for respecting the wishes of men who when alive do not wish to become fathers post mortem. Mechanisms governing entitlement to harvest and use sperm will also be required. I note that the law is unlikely to recognize the paternity of children born from harvested sperm, though there may be reasons to recognize that paternity in some instances.
Advance Directives; Brain; Brain Death; Cadavers; Case Studies; Children; Consent; Death; Donors; Fathers; Homosexuals; Law; Legal Aspects; Males; Married Persons; Mothers; Motivation; Parent Child Relationship; Paternity; Presumed Consent; Reproductive Technologies; Semen Donors; Single Persons; Social Impact; Sperm; Tissue Donation;
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