Sperm Donation From Father to Son Sparks Ethics Debate
After threeِ years ofِ trying toِ conceive, a married couple inِ the Netherlands inِ their early 30s learned theyِ couldِ not haveِ a child becauseِ the husband produced noِ sperm.
They didِ not wantِ toِ use sperm donated fromِ a stranger, partly becauseِ this wouldِ meanِ the child wouldِ notِ share genes withِ theِ husband’s side ofِ the family.
The child produced fromِ this union ofِ egg andِ sperm wouldِ haveِ a father whoِ wasِ hisِ biological half- brother, andِ a grandfather whoِ wasِ hisِ biological father.
Couples mayِ turn toِ family members toِ assist withِ reproduction forِ many reasons.
Some, likeِ the couple inِ the Netherlands, wantِ toِ haveِ a genetic tie withِ theirِ child.
In theِ case ofِ the couple fromِ the Netherlands, theِ grandfather mayِ find itِ hard toِ resist inserting himselfِ into theِ family, saidِ Arthur Caplan, bioethicist atِ the University ofِ Pennsylvania.
Laws and regulations
While theِ ASRM saysِ intrafamilial assisted reproduction isِ generally ethically acceptable, inِ some situations, theِ organization saysِ itِ should beِ prohibited — mainly, inِ cases inِ which theِ egg andِ sperm comeِ from close relatives, asِ would occur inِ incest.
For instance, theِ ASRM saysِ donations ofِ eggs fromِ a woman toِ herِ sister-in-law shouldِ beِ prohibited, asِ should donations ofِ sperm fromِ a brother toِ a sister.
But ifِ physicians areِ going toِ act irresponsibly, asِ Annas believes theِ researchers inِ the Netherlands did, thenِ moreِ laws mayِ beِ needed, Annas said.