Is it OK to take sperm from the dead?

[A] New York judge earlier this month ordered a medical center to save the sperm of Peter Zhu, a 21-year-old cadet at West Point Military Academy who died after a ski accident.

The Zhus’ plight has reignited a debate around what is known as postmortem sperm retrieval, or posthumous sperm procurement, a procedure that was first attempted in 1980 and is typically considered when a young man dies unexpectedly. The Zhus’ case is particularly complicated because it involves a request from parents.


“In the case of a partner or spouse, they presumably have a shared reproductive plan with the decedent,” said Judith Daar, a visiting professor of law at University of California, Irvine, and the chair of the society’s ethics committee. “That’s just not the case with parents.”

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If the judge rules that the Zhus can use the sperm, there will be more questions in need of answers, experts said. Paid surrogacy is illegal in New York, so will the parents try to start a pregnancy back in California? Will they find a fertility clinic willing to do IVF?

Read full, original post: ‘They don’t want his story to end’: Efforts to save the sperm of the deceased come with heartache and tough questions

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