Journal of Medical Ethics 46 (7):489-492 (2020)

Joshua Parker
University of Manchester
In this article we outline and defend the concept of voluntary non-directed postmortem sperm donation. This approach offers a potential means of increasing the quantity and heterogeneity of donor sperm. This is pertinent given the present context of a donor sperm shortage in the UK. Beyond making the case that it is technically feasible for dead men to donate their sperm for use in reproduction, we argue that this is ethically permissible. The inability to access donor sperm and the suffering this causes, we argue, justifies allowing access to sperm donated after death. Moreover, it is known that individuals and couples have desires for certain sperm donor characteristics which may not be fulfilled when numbers of sperm donors are low. Enacting these preferences contributes significantly to the well-being of intended parents, so we argue that this provides a pro tanto reason for respecting them. Finally, we explore the benefits and possible disadvantages of such a system for the various parties affected.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1136/medethics-2019-105637
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 62,448
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Shaping Future Children: Parental Rights and Societal Interests.Dan W. Brock - 2005 - Journal of Political Philosophy 13 (4):377–398.
Ethical Problems with Ethnic Matching in Gamete Donation.Hane Htut Maung - 2019 - Journal of Medical Ethics 45 (2):112-116.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Non-Directed Postmortem Sperm Donation: Some Questions.Frederick Kroon & Ben Kroon - 2021 - Journal of Medical Ethics 47 (4):261-262.
The Complex Case of Ellie Anderson.Joona Räsänen & Anna Smajdor - forthcoming - Journal of Medical Ethics:medethics-2020-106998.
Balancing Rules in Postmortem Sperm Donation.Guido Pennings - forthcoming - Journal of Medical Ethics:medethics-2020-107075.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Woman Wants Dead Fiance's Baby: Who Owns a Dead Man's Sperm.M. Spriggs - 2004 - Journal of Medical Ethics 30 (4):384-388.
Sperm Donation and the Right to Privacy.Oliver Hallich - 2017 - The New Bioethics 23 (2):107-120.
The Moral Complexity of Sperm Donation.Rivka Weinberg - 2008 - Bioethics 22 (3):166–178.
Sperm Donor Suffers Years Later From Inherited Disease.D. O. E. Gebhardt - 2002 - Journal of Medical Ethics 28 (4):213-214.
Danish Sperm Donors and the Ethics of Donation and Selection.Alison Wheatley - 2018 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 21 (2):227-238.
Sperm, Clinics, and Parenthood.Reuven Brandt - 2016 - Bioethics 30 (8):618-627.


Added to PP index

Total views
4 ( #1,241,701 of 2,446,172 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #310,555 of 2,446,172 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes