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The ethics of posthumous parenthood


FloatingVoterTralee

Well-known member
Joined
May 8, 2009
Messages
997
A woman sought to have a child with her husband, but before they could begin to plan a family, he was diagnosed with cancer. He donated sperm while recovering, but went into relapse and died. Prior to his decease, he stated in writing his desire that the sperm should be used for procreation, but the sperm bank now intends to destroy the cells, as a legal prohibition exists on the use of deposits from a dead donor. Frankly, I feel it would be more morally and ethically sound to support the potential creation of life, rather than engage in a process that would result in its willful obstruction.

Of course, the extended families of both husband and wife may have reservations about the process, but ultimately the wishes of the couple should take precedence. More pressing, perhaps, might be the impact on the child of knowing it was deliberately brought into existence without the support of a father. The nuclear family would be the ideal situation out of all possible circumstances, but surrogacy and fathering of children by gay men for lesbian couples already demonstrate that the traditional parenting model doesn't suit all potential situations.
 
D

Dylan2010

is this a made up example? either way the only ethical problem I'd have is a welfare problem, allowing a situation where the wish will create a deliberate buden on the taxpayer in extra welfare payments. But otherwise cant see why there should be particular rules against it.
 

FloatingVoterTralee

Well-known member
Joined
May 8, 2009
Messages
997
No, they were discussing it on the Ray D'Arcy Show this morning, a number of lawyers offered to help her get an injunction.
 

farnaby

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May 15, 2006
Messages
1,966
Is this a real or hypothetical situation?

I'd agree with your synopsis with caveats. As long as the mother has solid support for raising the child herself, can provide for him/her and the child would to some extent grow up around father-like male role models (e.g. grandfather(s) with a good few years left in life) then I don't see an issue.

From a broader utilitarian perspective you'd expect that this would be such a rare occurance that it would not yield single mother subculture the Daily Mail could rant at.
 

firefly123

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Joined
Dec 8, 2009
Messages
28,155
I suppose it would save on Christmas presents.
 

between the bridges

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Sep 21, 2011
Messages
45,683
Quite a mindfuk for someone to consider that a parent was dead before they were conceived...
 
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