A call for institutional policies on postmortem sperm retrieval

Capsule:
Reflections on “A content analysis of posthumous sperm procurement protocols with considerations for developing an institutional policy” by Bahm et al.

Authors:
Ryan P. Smith, M.D., Larry I. Lipshultz, M.D.

Volume 100, Issue 3, Pages 656-657, September 2013

Abstract:

Reflections on “A content analysis of posthumous sperm procurement protocols with considerations for developing an institutional policy” by Bahm et al.

  • Carlos Balmori

    This reflection is as intersting as Bahm article. I think it
    is necessary to develop international guidelines on the ethical and legal
    problems that arise in assisted reproduction techniques and have an update
    level as dynamic as the techniques themselves.

    Spain has a national legislation on assisted human
    reproduction techniques, it was enacted in 2006 and it will probably update
    this year. The use of postmortem sperm is regulated, but leaves unresolved
    issues. Thus, it can be used semen provided that the man has given his consent,
    which can be public deed, will or advance directive. It can be used during 12
    months after his death to impregnate his wife. This consent may be revoked at
    any time.

    The consent given is presumed when the surviving spouse has
    been subjected to a process of assisted reproduction already begun pre-embryos
    for transfer made ​​before the death of the husband.

    As you can see there are still many situations without legislate
    for example if the individual has no frozen semen, could we retrieval
    after his death?, or if the
    fertilization process was performed with donor sperm, would the new born the
    same inheritance rights if there isn´t a special consent?

    We have to work in international forums to obtain the widest
    consensus possible.

    • Jason Kovac

      Completely agree. The fact that there are no national legislations here in the United States is quite unfortunate. As sperm cryopreservation becomes more common-place, the need for rules governing how physicians manage these specimens becomes even more important.

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