The Simon Center for the Professional Military Ethic

    Post-Mortem Sperm Collection


    Posts : 1
    Join date : 2011-10-02

    Post-Mortem Sperm Collection Empty Post-Mortem Sperm Collection

    Post by on Sun Oct 02, 2011 2:57 pm

    Mr. Jamison suffered a severe head injury in an accident and died without regaining consciousness soon after being brought to the emergency room. Upon his death, his wife requested postmortem sperm procurement, telling doctors that the couple had been trying desperately to conceive a child. Mr. Jamison had no advance directive stating, or implying, his wish to father a child, or specifying his agreement to this procedure in case of his death.
    The hospital ethics committee noted that, under provincial law, the spouse of the deceased is the surrogate decision maker, and concluded, for this reason, that the decision rested with Mrs. Jamison. Mr. Jamison's parents argued that their son would never have wished to father a child who would be raised with only one parent. Mrs. Jamison's physician expressed the opinion that the Jamison's efforts to conceive a child demonstrated Mr. Jamison's desire that his wife have his child. The hospital's social worker suggested that it would be unfair to bring a child into the world with only one parent. The hospital chaplain pointed out, however, that many children live in stable, loving single parent homes.
    The hospital has the equipment to do the procedure and offers services for sperm collection and storage for various reasons, including posthumous fatherhood. However, it has no policy for this situation, where the father is not a competent participant in the consent process.
    1. Do you feel allowing the procedure would be respecting Mr. Jamison's wishes to father a child with his wife? Why or why not?
    2. Do you believe it is wrong to be an agent of conception without the explicit consent of both parents? Why or why not?
    3. Do you agree with the hospital ethics committee that the spouse of the deceased is the surrogate decision maker? Why or why not?

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