Sperm donations taken from men after they have died should be allowed, a study says.
The analysis, which is published in the Journal of Medical Ethics, claims that opt-in post-death donations could be a “morally permissible” way of increasing the stocks available.
In 2017 in the UK, 2,345 babies were born after a sperm donation. However, there is a growing shortage of donations around the country because of strict regulations.
Sperm can be collected after death either through electrical stimulation of the prostate gland or surgery, and can then be frozen.
Evidence suggests that sperm harvested from men who have died can still result in viable pregnancies and healthy children, even when retrieved up to 48 hours after death has occurred.
n the analysis, Dr Nathan Hodson, from the University of Leicester, and Dr Joshua Parker, from Manchester’s Wythenshawe Hospital, argue that such a method falls into similar territory to organ donation.
“If it is morally acceptable that individuals can donate their tissues to relieve the suffering of others in ‘life-enhancing transplants’ for diseases, we see no reason this cannot be extended to other forms of suffering like infertility,” they said.
However, it could raise questions about consent and family veto, and there are concerns about the integrity surrounding the anonymity of the donor, they added.