Posthumous Sperm Retrieval

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5 Responses

  1. Kent says:

    I think that, at least in the case of rabid fans having unnatural children with deceased celebrities (i.e. James Dean), the interest may be in the children well being. I can imagine a situation where growing up the after-born child of an ultra-famous celebrity from whom your mother bought some sperm could adversely impact the child. I think it would be dangerous to let parents create souvenirs in their children.

    While there may or may not be an adverse impact by allowing sperm retrieval by spouses, we have to remember that in situations like these, the woman and the deceased man are not the only two humans whose interests may be impacted by the procedures and that the impact on the prospective child should be considered as well.

    • David Orentlicher says:

      I’m not sure how useful it is to invoke the child’s interests. Being the son of James Dean could make the child feel very special. Also, the alternative for the child is not to exist at all. That makes it difficult to say that the child is harmed.

  2. Shag from Brookline says:

    Louis Armstrong’s rendition of “Loveless Love” [variation of “Careless Love”] comes to mind.

  3. If a spouse wants to conceive using previously harvested sperm from her dead husband and is going to support said offspring 100% on her own dime, then I, as a taxpayer, have absolutely no objection to that. On the other hand, if the same woman is planning on collecting SS death benefits for each child, as the woman in the above referenced case was planning, then I have a very big problem with that. She should pay for children with her own income, not the FICA taxes that are hijacked from my paycheck to finance SS.

  4. Wayfarer says:

    I think the distinction lies in continuity. If I give you my heart, the ordinary purpose is to maintain your life—a life already in existence and of limited duration. If I give you my sperm, the ordinary purpose is to create new life and continue my genetic heritage. While I may have little interest in my organs, I could imagine situations where people would much more closely guard their genetic heritage. Of course, you could certainly use the DNA from an organ to “clone” a person I suppose, but that is not the ordinary purpose of a heart.