Sunday, September 11, 2005

Micromanaging Sperm Placement

Taiwanese authorities have extracted sperm from the body of a dead army officer some 57 hours after he died to enable his fiance to bear his child through artificial insemination.

Late Saturday a doctor from a military hospital extracted sperm from the body of Sun Chi-hsiang, an army captain who was killed last Wednesday in a military accident.

Defence Minister Lee Jye subsequently met with Sun's fiancee Lee Hsing-yu to express his condolences over the accident, during which Lee Hsing-yu said she wanted to bear the child of her dead lover.

Her request was turned down by the minister, who cited Taiwanese laws that forbid the harvesting of sperm from the deceased.

Saturday's retrieval of sperm from Sun was only made possible after Premier Frank Hsieh consented to the operation following a series of emotional public pleas by Lee Hsing-yu.

However, she may have to travel overseas to receive the artificial insemination as it is illegal in Taiwan for unmarried women to have such treatment.

I, for one, am moved by the plight of Taiwanese government officials.

Obviously Ms. Hsing-yu, a woman, cannot be trusted to decide, all by her little, infantile self, if she should, or should not, be inseminated with her lover's sperm. The country's Defence Minister and Premier are needed to make this decision for her. But who will make the decisions involved in Ms. Hsing-yu's carrying a pregnancy to term, delivering, and raising a child? Since all these are far more high-risk, and complex endeavors than an insemination, clearly the rank of the decision-making official has to supersede that of those involved in the insemination decision. Does Taiwan have an Emperor? No matter; I have a proposal.

Let us create an International Department of Making Decisions for Minors and Women, so as to free high-ranking government officials everywhere form having to spend their most precious time micromanaging sperm placement.


At 7:10 PM, Blogger Rachel said...

There is no evidence that this man consented to have his sperm used after his death. I doubt very many people want their girlfriends to bear children conceived after their death. It is entirely appropriate for the government to prevent people from stealing body parts for their own use.

At 9:48 PM, Blogger ema said...

Since the government allowed the use of his sperm, assume there was consent. Otherwise the government would be doing the stealing of body parts.

At 1:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeesh - stories like this are why I put a clause in my living will that my eggs are not to be harvested in any circumstance. I don't know why we can assume consent here.


At 4:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is soooooo romantic if you put aside technicalities. where is the romance in everyone!


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