Saturday, August 22, 2009

Sperm Retrieval From Terminally Ill or Recently Deceased Patients

Requests for sperm retrieval from terminally ill or recently deceased patients continue to increase along with controversy. Major reasons for this increase are the success and acceptance of techniques that assist reproduction such as in vitro fertilization. These requests are accompanied by several concerns regarding legal, ethical, and financial issues. Two areas of controversy involve consent for the retrieval of sperm and the validity of family consent. Obviously, family members and healthcare providers need some form of medical protocol to resolve the ongoing controversy that is not going away.

Some feel that men themselves, particularly those about to get married or enter into a similar relationship, can resolve problems related to consent by addressing retrieval of their sperm in advance in the same way a living will is handled. By documenting their wishes before a need occurs, sperm retrieval can take place during the terminal illness or recently after death. This research by the University of Maryland Medical Center examines sperm retrieval from terminally ill or recently deceased patients.

What do you think about this ongoing debate?

Frances Shani Parker, Author
"Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes”
“Hospice and Nursing Homes Blog”

1 comment:

  1. Great article, thanks. I recently heard a story about this on my favorite NPR program "Radio Lab" - episode entitled "Sperm."

    The woman who had this done on her recently deceased husband never used the extraction for her own personal reasons.