In Israel, courts just allowed parents to use their dead sonâ€™s sperm to impregnate a woman he never met. (Link)
In short, the soldier died, and the parents had his sperm extracted from his dead body. They then advertised to attract women who might want to be impregnated by this sperm. They found one, and after this court ruling, are able to proceed.
This all happened without the son leaving a will, or expressing anything in writing saying that he wanted to do anything of the sort. But the parents say that he had always wanted children.
Iâ€™m of two minds here:
Whether he wanted children or not is beside the point, because heâ€™ll never have children. Heâ€™s dead. And wanting children is completely different from wanting to donate sperm to a random woman heâ€™s never met. (I accept that the parents didnâ€™t choose her at random, but I wouldnâ€™t want my parents choosing my mate. To me, thatâ€™s practically random.)
After all, he could have donated sperm before he died. He was in the army, in the Gaza strip. Death was a possibility. But he didnâ€™t and he didnâ€™t even leave a will stating something of the sort. Itâ€™s ridiculous to present this as some kind of fulfillment of his dream to have a family.
Heâ€™s dead. Who cares what they do with his body or his genetics? He doesnâ€™t.
But Iâ€™m not sure how far Iâ€™d take this. Iâ€™m dead, so what do I care if my wife sells my body to the highest bidder? But I do kind of care (now). Should that matter once Iâ€™m dead?
If it does matter, then Iâ€™m back to #1 above. His wanting a family shouldnâ€™t give his parents carte blanche to make babies with his sperm. One thing doesnâ€™t equal the other. But if death means that nothing matters, then Iâ€™m here at #2, which is kind of uncomfortable.
I think that generally, Iâ€™d be against this decision. I donâ€™t know enough about it to say for sure (more information usually means more nuance and harder decisions), but based on what little I know, it seems wrong. To me, the dead guy gets nothing at all and his parents get a grandkid by pretending that itâ€™s all for him.
I vote #2.
On our drive back from Amelia Island, as we approached Atlanta around 4 in the morning, Kevin and I were discussing death. Kevin avoids the topic but for whatever reason I wanted to talk about it. I think my purpose was to establish some sort of guidance for my remains if I were to kick the can unexpectedly. I started off saying I’d want to be cremated and then to have the ashes buried in the ground (in our front yard) and grow something (a tree perhaps). It wasn’t very well thought out, but I don’t like thinking about the scenario much myself.
Kevin didn’t think that was a good idea, since we never planned on staying in this house very long and what about having a permanent spot to talk to me? Oh right….I guess it’d be nice to have a place to take the kids to see their mom. Just the thought of that made me cry and of course Kevin said I told you we shouldn’t be talking about this. Anyways, from then on I decided once I’m dead I don’t really need a say in how I’m remembered. I can just hope for some dignity, but that ultimately their input is more important than mine since at that point I’m only a memory anyways, their memory at that. The parents of the dead soldier might be misguided or overreaching, but unless the soldier had left specific wishes, I’m ok with it.