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Susan Adcox

Taking Extreme Measures to Get Grandchildren

By November 13, 2012

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It seems like an extreme solution. A young man is critically injured in an automobile accident and is on life support. Anticipating that their son will die without having had children, his parents seek to harvest his sperm.

The young man in question died before the parents could get their request approved through legal channels. It would have been an uphill battle in any case. The young man was an adult, not a minor, and had expressed no desire to have children. One medical ethicist said that a person's reproductive rights include the right not to reproduce.

I've written about parents who chip in on the cost of freezing eggs and about grandmothers who serve as surrogates for their own grandchildren. Some might have difficulty with these measures, but at least the parents are in on the decisions.  But a dead person can't decide to become a parent, and for someone else to make that decision for them is just inconceivable. No pun intended.

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November 14, 2012 at 5:34 am
(1) granny annie says:

I cannot imagine the child that would be a product of that much grandparent control. Best to let some things go undone.

November 14, 2012 at 9:57 am
(2) Amanda says:

I can’t imagine the pressure a grandchild who was conceived out of grief would feel as s/he grew up. While I can understand the wish to carry on a part of your child’s spirit (or DNA), I think it’s important not to place that responsibilty on the shoulder’s of a child. But then again I also cannot imagine the grief of losing a child…

November 15, 2012 at 4:18 pm
(3) Grandma Kc says:

I absolutely agree with you. It is not there place to make his decisions. And I agree — what pressure that would put on a child. Not good!

November 19, 2012 at 8:48 pm
(4) Joyce says:

While my heart aches for these parents in their catastrophic loss, I see nothing ethical in their attempt to allow their son to live on through a child conceived in this unnatural manner.

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