Life After Death

by maximecorbeil on September 20, 2013 - 11:46pm

The advances in technology have made possible impressive things during the last century. The article "Making Babies after Death: It’s Possible, but Is It Ethical?" by Bahar Gholipour testifies of the well-known technology that allows doctors to sample sperm from a death man. That action is called postmortem sperm retrieval (PMR). The sperm of the dead can then be used to fertilize a woman’s egg. I found interest in that article because I have always wanted at least three kids. Raising my family will be one of the most important project of my life.

When I read the title of the article, a question came up to my mind and it probably happened to you too. Knowing that it is possible to conceive a child after your death, would you use postmortem sperm retrieval to do it?

For me, postmortem sperm retrieval would not even be an option. Since my youth, family is the value that guides my desire to have children: I want to see them grow, to spend time playing with them and to teach them all sorts of things. I hope I’ll be able to give them my passion for sport and see them score their first goal. Basically, my wish and my motivation are to raise a happy family and share this happiness with the woman that I’ll love. If I die and my sperm is used afterwards, this dream will have been taken away from me: my family would have never been complete. I don’t want my kids to be born without a father. My kids must live in a complete and stable family. I want them to be able to say in the schoolyard that their father is the strongest, just like other kids do. I also don’t want to put the woman of my life in a constant struggle trying to feed and meet the needs of our children. For all those reasons that partake in the concept of family I cherish, I would not consider using postmortem sperm retrieval to have a child after my death.

For others, the answer, without any hesitation, would be yes. Some have a different view of family than I do and see PMR has a way to continue their lineage. If they die accidentally before having the opportunity to conceive a child, using PMR is the only option that will save their family lineage. In addition, if one is an only child, he is the last person that can continue the family. Also, some would argue that it is simply worth giving life to your child even if you are not there to see it. The child will still grow, but with only one parent. It is in the kid’s best interest to live, even if he has been fathered by a dead man. In fact, many kids are born with one parent, for many different reason, and they still manage to live a happy life.

This text has been written from a male point of view. Being a woman, would you want to be pregnant of a dead man?


The title “Life After Death” intrigued me from the start because I was curious to see what you meant by this. I was expecting you to mention how humans never actually die because they will always be in people's hearts and memories. Little did I expect you to literally talk about the possibility of creating human life even when a person has passed away, by using a method called postmortem sperm retrieval. I was shocked that such procedure was actually possible and that people actually requested this. I was interested to see what motivated people to opt for this option because I would have never even considered this possibility.

Some wives, fiances, girlfriends or parents of young men who died suddenly have chosen this method in order to have a child. However, I don’t that that humans should conceive children by taking the sperm of a deceased person for several reasons. First, in the cases where the man has died unexpectedly in an accident, he has not given consent for his sperm to be used for reproductive reasons after his death. It would therefore be unjustifiable to suppose that his desire would have been for his loved one to conceive a child with his sperm. Second, and most importantly, the children will not have an actual father. Each child deserves to have a male parental figure that watches over them and guides them throughout their lives. Of course, mothers love their children unconditionally and will provide them with the best care, but nothing compares to the support and presence of a father. It is one thing to be born with a father and lose him to an accident or an illness, but a completely different thing when someone knowingly denies a father to a child for his/her whole life simply because one has always dreamt of procreating with a certain person.

To answer your question, I most definitely would not want to be pregnant of a dead man. Like I mentioned, I think it would be completely unfair for the child to have no choice but to be born under these unnatural circumstances. I simply wouldn’t be able to live with myself, knowing that I have taken the sperm of my deceased partner without his consent in order to fulfil my wish of having a child with him. Even if I had his consent, I wouldn’t want to raise a child without the actual birth father, no matter how much I loved him.

Additionally, I share the same beliefs as you concerning family. I have always imagined living a happy and healthy life with the man of my dreams, raising plenty of children together, learning along the way, making mistakes, but learning from them. I definitely agree with you when you say that children should live in a complete and stable family. I think that stability is one of the most important factors in a young person's life because it allows them to grow up in a familiar environment in which they will gain confidence and self-esteem. Children are extremely vulnerable and sensitive. They need all the attention, guidance and help from parents in order for them to become generally well-rounded people.

I have also found an interesting article about a mom who wishes to have a grandchild by postmortem sperm retrieval after her 21 year-old son had been murdered in a bar fight. Naturally, she was completely distraught after the unexpected death of her son and the article brings forward her desire to have a grandchild as a legacy. I suggest reading this article in order to better understand why some people are interested by postmortem sperm retrieval.

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