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Tue May 21, 2019, 10:08 AM

Parents of dead West Point cadet can use his sperm to produce a child, judge rules

Source: New York Daily News

The parents of a 21-year-old West Point cadet who died after a skiing accident earlier this year can use his sperm to produce a grandchild, a judge has ruled.

Peter Zhu’s parents were allowed to retrieve his sperm while he was brain dead at a Westchester County hospital in early March, but their request to keep and potentially use the sperm had to be reviewed by a state Supreme Court judge, who announced his decision on Thursday. The couple — Monica and Yongmin Zhu — will now be allowed to seek conception with a surrogate mother, a move that has raised ethical questions.

“At this time, the court will place no restrictions on the use to which Peter’s parents may ultimately put their son’s sperm, including its potential use for procreative purposes,” Judge John Colangelo wrote.

The parents wrote in their petition that the procedure would allow them to carry on their family’s lineage. The young cadet was the only male child in the family, who comes from China. Each of the father’s two brothers only has a single daughter because of China’s “one-child” policy, according to the couple.

Read more: https://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/ny-parents-of-dead-cadet-allowed-to-use-his-sperm-20190520-jcifzwzqmzb55ns5g76expzxcm-story.html



Just to be clear: there is no partner of Peter Zhu requesting this; only his parents.

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Reply Parents of dead West Point cadet can use his sperm to produce a child, judge rules (Original post)
brooklynite May 21 OP
rzemanfl May 21 #1
Dave Starsky May 21 #36
rzemanfl May 21 #51
Dave Starsky May 21 #54
lunatica May 21 #45
rzemanfl May 21 #50
lunatica May 21 #53
LuvLoogie May 23 #79
Gore1FL May 21 #56
rzemanfl May 21 #60
Blue_Tires May 23 #71
Demit May 21 #2
thesquanderer May 21 #7
Demit May 21 #8
thesquanderer May 21 #10
Demit May 21 #11
LisaL May 21 #38
LisaL May 21 #39
Jose Garcia May 21 #28
lunatica May 21 #46
Hekate May 22 #65
LisaL May 23 #75
madaboutharry May 28 #101
IronLionZion May 21 #3
jmowreader May 21 #19
IronLionZion May 21 #23
Hekate May 22 #66
LisaL May 21 #35
lunatica May 21 #47
IronLionZion May 21 #61
Polly Hennessey May 21 #4
Quackers May 21 #5
RhodeIslandOne May 21 #6
JudyM May 21 #12
Mosby May 21 #20
Delmette2.0 May 21 #26
Paladin May 21 #9
lunatica May 21 #48
Mazeltov Cocktail May 21 #13
waddirum May 21 #31
in2herbs May 21 #14
RobinA May 21 #17
LisaL May 21 #37
lunatica May 21 #49
RobinA May 21 #15
Totally Tunsie May 22 #67
Boomer May 21 #16
RobinA May 21 #18
LisaL May 21 #33
ManiacJoe May 23 #70
LisaL May 23 #73
BigmanPigman May 21 #21
MicaelS May 23 #74
Mosby May 21 #22
SunSeeker May 21 #24
LisaL May 21 #34
Mosby May 21 #40
LisaL May 21 #42
LisaL May 21 #43
SunSeeker May 21 #25
Honeycombe8 May 21 #27
Coventina May 21 #29
ansible May 22 #62
PupCamo May 21 #30
Dave Starsky May 21 #44
PupCamo May 21 #55
Dave Starsky May 21 #59
PupCamo May 22 #69
Sapient Donkey May 27 #95
PupCamo May 27 #98
Gore1FL May 21 #57
LisaL May 21 #32
dhol82 May 21 #52
Mosby May 21 #41
erpowers May 21 #58
Hekate May 22 #63
Hekate May 22 #64
RobinA May 22 #68
LisaL May 23 #72
Hekate May 23 #78
RobinA May 24 #81
Hekate May 24 #83
RobinA May 24 #91
RobinA May 24 #80
LisaL May 24 #87
RobinA May 24 #90
MicaelS May 23 #76
RobinA May 24 #82
MicaelS May 24 #85
RobinA May 24 #89
LisaL May 26 #93
RobinA May 28 #99
whathehell May 23 #77
StevieM May 24 #84
LisaL May 24 #86
StevieM May 24 #88
RobinA May 24 #92
Sapient Donkey May 27 #94
LisaL May 27 #97
Captain Stern May 27 #96
RobinA May 28 #100
Captain Stern May 28 #103
stonecutter357 May 28 #102

Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue May 21, 2019, 10:10 AM

1. Ick. n/t

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Response to rzemanfl (Reply #1)

Tue May 21, 2019, 06:01 PM

36. Couldn't have said it better myself.

"Quick! Suck the sperm out of my dead son's balls! We need a grandchild!"

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Response to Dave Starsky (Reply #36)

Tue May 21, 2019, 09:01 PM

51. No, "We need a

grandson!

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Response to rzemanfl (Reply #51)

Tue May 21, 2019, 09:16 PM

54. "Then suck twice as much sperm out of his balls!"

"We can't leave anything to chance!"

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Response to rzemanfl (Reply #1)

Tue May 21, 2019, 08:42 PM

45. Welcome to legitimate future possibilities

I’ve been a sci-fi fan since I was in my teens. This idea is not unheard of.

Sci fi is the simple extrapolation of a future based on what we have in the present.

This story may make people feel the ick factor but I remember the first heart transplant. There was a definite ick factor in that concept, yet we think nothing about it is out of the ordinary today. It’s actually considered a very good thing now.

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Response to lunatica (Reply #45)

Tue May 21, 2019, 09:00 PM

50. Without transplants we would not have Dick Cheney. Sometimes a good

thing, sometimes not.

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Response to rzemanfl (Reply #50)

Tue May 21, 2019, 09:06 PM

53. Yes! Of course!

Mistakes will happen!

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Response to rzemanfl (Reply #50)

Thu May 23, 2019, 10:47 PM

79. Dick Cheney's heart was engineered from the stems cells

of disappeared immigrant children.

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Response to rzemanfl (Reply #1)

Tue May 21, 2019, 09:20 PM

56. Gives new meaning to "laid to rest." nt

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Response to Gore1FL (Reply #56)

Tue May 21, 2019, 09:31 PM

60. Oh my....n/t

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Response to rzemanfl (Reply #1)

Thu May 23, 2019, 05:15 PM

71. Not that I'd ever entertain doing something like this

but the courts *have* consistently upheld this 'right' when requested by family members over the years...

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue May 21, 2019, 10:14 AM

2. What happens if the sperm produces a daughter?

Are grandpa and grandma going to be satisfied with that?

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Response to Demit (Reply #2)

Tue May 21, 2019, 10:39 AM

7. They could try again... (n/t)

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Response to thesquanderer (Reply #7)

Tue May 21, 2019, 10:42 AM

8. And what, put the granddaughter up on eBay?

I mean, even assuming they have the means to support multiple grandchildren, I pity any daughters that result. They're going to feel SO wanted.

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Response to Demit (Reply #8)

Tue May 21, 2019, 10:46 AM

10. True, but that's nothing specific to this situation.

The desire of some in the world to "keep trying until they get a son" is nothing new.

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Response to thesquanderer (Reply #10)

Tue May 21, 2019, 10:59 AM

11. Grandparents trying until they get a (grand)son is very new.

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Response to Demit (Reply #11)

Tue May 21, 2019, 06:05 PM

38. If they do IVF, they could screen the embryos to select a male embryo.

Anything can be done nowdays.

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Response to thesquanderer (Reply #10)

Tue May 21, 2019, 06:06 PM

39. They don't have to keep trying.

They would get donor eggs, their son sperm, create embryos, they test them and select male embryos for implantation. In which case they can only get a male baby.

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Response to Demit (Reply #2)

Tue May 21, 2019, 03:00 PM

28. Abort and try again?

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Response to Demit (Reply #2)

Tue May 21, 2019, 08:49 PM

46. Science has probably advanced to know what the sex will be

As it is, at present in vitro fertilization is given a choice of various zygotes. Zygotes are fertilized eggs.

By the way these ethical questions have paralleled the development of technology.

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Response to lunatica (Reply #46)

Wed May 22, 2019, 02:43 AM

65. "Probably"? Sex selection is easy in the right hands. Some genetic diseases are sex-linked...

...like hemophilia. It's more than a little desirable to not have a boy with hemophilia.

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Response to Hekate (Reply #65)

Thu May 23, 2019, 06:12 PM

75. Exactly. Sex selection is being done in fertility clinics day in and day out.

For whatever reasons, some medical and some because people want a child of a certain gender.

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Response to Demit (Reply #2)

Tue May 28, 2019, 08:57 AM

101. They can use only male sperm.

Male and female sperm can be separated out in a centrifuge. They will most likely use this procedure to guarantee a male child.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue May 21, 2019, 10:27 AM

3. Are they going to hire someone to carry and birth their grandchildren?

This was in a law and order episode or something like that.

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Response to IronLionZion (Reply #3)

Tue May 21, 2019, 01:05 PM

19. It's called a surrogate mother, and that's their plan

This falls firmly into the Baby Rabies class of ick, but if it’s what helps them cope with the loss of their son and they can find a woman who’d do it, I’m not standing in their way.

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Response to jmowreader (Reply #19)

Tue May 21, 2019, 01:39 PM

23. Someone has to provide an egg

so there could be more than one woman involved, one to donate an egg, one to be the surrogate. Could end up in a nasty custody battle with the grandparents.

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Response to IronLionZion (Reply #23)

Wed May 22, 2019, 02:53 AM

66. There are couples in the US who recruit college girls to sell them their eggs...

Can't remember what the going rate is, but Google is your friend. It's a lot of money and can certainly help with a girl's college costs. It's not without risk, though, as she has to be pumped full of hormones in order to produce a whole lot of eggs to be harvested at once.

The prospective parents in question can select for many traits in advance this way: intelligence, hair and eye color, height, athleticism, overall health and health history. (LOL, Ask yourself if you would qualify -- my family, for instance, has high IQs but a significant strain of ADD and lousy eyesight.)

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Response to IronLionZion (Reply #3)

Tue May 21, 2019, 05:59 PM

35. They sure as hell wouldn't be the first to hire a surrogate.

There are agencies providing these types of services. Some celebrities have had multiple children that way.

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Response to IronLionZion (Reply #3)

Tue May 21, 2019, 08:51 PM

47. Do you mean surrogate mothers?

They’re already a fact of life.

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Response to lunatica (Reply #47)

Tue May 21, 2019, 09:53 PM

61. and egg donors, apparently

so it could be 2 different women involved who might have a change of heart and battle for custody

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue May 21, 2019, 10:28 AM

4. I guess I should have a problem with it

but I don’t. Interesting idea though.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue May 21, 2019, 10:29 AM

5. I don't think I agree with the court on this.

He was an adult. And yes, even though they became responsible for his wellbeing while unable to make his own decisions, this was done to further their interest, not necessarily his. Did he want children?

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Response to Quackers (Reply #5)

Tue May 21, 2019, 10:35 AM

6. You mentioned he was an adult

What if he was 15? Ick, so many ethical rabbit holes.

If he had a living will desiring this, it would feel more ethical.

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Response to Quackers (Reply #5)

Tue May 21, 2019, 11:08 AM

12. How do any parents of a 21 year old have rights to his sperm?

I guess we can assume they had medical power of attorney while he was brain dead, so could decide others could harvest his organs, but creating a new life? I feel compassion for them, but what an ethical mess and precedent.

Their petition to the court says he told them he wanted to have 5 children. So are they going to see this through? After all, there’s no guarantee that a single offspring will have kids, which is what they’re saying this is about. That seems so messed up, as is the whole “females don’t count for the lineage” garbage.

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Response to JudyM (Reply #12)


Response to JudyM (Reply #12)

Tue May 21, 2019, 02:03 PM

26. Females Don't Count.

That is why a surrogate fits into their plan. Her contribution of DNA isn't as important as carrying and delivering a healthy male.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue May 21, 2019, 10:43 AM

9. I wonder how many screenplays are in the works on this.

I won't be seeing the movie.

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Response to Paladin (Reply #9)

Tue May 21, 2019, 08:53 PM

48. I will.

It’s a future fact of life. This will become as normal as a heart transplant, and it won’t even require someone’s death in order to happen.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue May 21, 2019, 11:43 AM

13. I'm guessing he was in that Arizona Nursing Home...

That would be where they "harvested" his sperm.
There's a job they don't discuss on Career Day in High School.

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Response to Mazeltov Cocktail (Reply #13)

Tue May 21, 2019, 05:24 PM

31. I'm a fool to do your dirty work... oh yeah...

I don't wanna do your dirty work... no more...

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue May 21, 2019, 12:05 PM

14. I see a custody battle at some future point between the surrogate mother and grandparents.

With the father (sperm donor) dead, it would appear the surrogate mother would have the custody advantage even with an agreement by her to waive all custody.

Since when do dead people have the right to reproduce? And are the grandparents going to require that the surrogate mother abort the embryo if its not a male?

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Response to in2herbs (Reply #14)

Tue May 21, 2019, 12:55 PM

17. Worse,

I see this as a dead person's family having the right to force him to reproduce and with a co-reproducer he didn't chose. Wrong! And how could this decision even be appealed, because no non-Grandparent party exists.

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Response to in2herbs (Reply #14)

Tue May 21, 2019, 06:03 PM

37. The person chosen as surrogate usually required to already have children to

decrease a chance of this person to want to take custody of the baby. Yes, sometimes lawsuits happen but this would hardly be the first case of people hiring a surrogate to carry a fetus.

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Response to in2herbs (Reply #14)

Tue May 21, 2019, 08:54 PM

49. Yes, and it will set a Court precedent.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue May 21, 2019, 12:46 PM

15. Yeah, No

Sorry, I'm can't get with this. If he had left a power of attorney, maybe. And I'm not impressed with him allegedly saying he wanted 5 children.

I'm sorry your son died, Grandma and Grandpa, but this just ain't right. Yikes, what could possibly go wrong with this scenario? Which will involve an innocent child.

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Response to RobinA (Reply #15)

Wed May 22, 2019, 03:27 AM

67. Power of Attorney wouldn't come into play in this instance.

A Power of Attorney ends at death, so would provide no legal standing to the parents once the son passed on.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue May 21, 2019, 12:50 PM

16. No, the MOTHER is not a surrogate

The use of the word "surrogate" in this context is so debasing to the mother who contributes half her DNA. She's not some empty vessel holding the guy's baby. He can only contribute half the DNA, and the other half is from a woman who is the child's mother.

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Response to Boomer (Reply #16)

Tue May 21, 2019, 01:01 PM

18. True, That

Unless, of course, they decide to find eggs harvested from a deceased woman to serve as the other half of this screwed up equation. That way they could have a surrogate and two sets of competing grandparents.

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Response to Boomer (Reply #16)

Tue May 21, 2019, 05:57 PM

33. They could use eggs from a donor, their dead son's sperm, and implant embryos into

another person. In which case that person is going to be a surrogate and not related to the child in any way.

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Response to LisaL (Reply #33)

Thu May 23, 2019, 05:04 PM

70. Legally, this would be the preferred method.

This way, the surrogate has no biological claim to the child.

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Response to ManiacJoe (Reply #70)

Thu May 23, 2019, 06:08 PM

73. Exactly.

Surrogate is much less likely to try to keep a child if she has no genetic connection to the child. And less likely to prevail in lawsuit, since she isn't actually a biological mother.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue May 21, 2019, 01:18 PM

21. What is next, cloning?

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Response to BigmanPigman (Reply #21)

Thu May 23, 2019, 06:10 PM

74. Almost certainly. So what?

We ARE the party of reproductive freedom, are we not?

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue May 21, 2019, 01:19 PM

22. I think the hospital procedure to collect sperm was unethical.

The hospital had nothing in writing from the deceased and there was no spouse.

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Response to Mosby (Reply #22)

Tue May 21, 2019, 01:41 PM

24. +1

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Response to Mosby (Reply #22)

Tue May 21, 2019, 05:58 PM

34. Parents are next of kin if there is no spouse.

In which case they are the ones making decisions.

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Response to LisaL (Reply #34)

Tue May 21, 2019, 06:10 PM

40. Sure, but what they did was not medically necessary.

This wasn't an end-of-life decision or a tissue/organ donation.



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Response to Mosby (Reply #40)

Tue May 21, 2019, 06:36 PM

42. Organ donation is not medically necessary for the patient, yet people would have no issue

with parents allowing organ donation. In fact most people would approve of it. But patient him or herself doesn't benefit in any way from organ donation. In fact their son's organs were donated to help others.

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Response to Mosby (Reply #22)

Tue May 21, 2019, 06:54 PM

43. Parents obtained the court order to collect sperm.

So the hospital was following the court order, there is nothing unethical about that.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue May 21, 2019, 01:58 PM

25. This is wrong on so many levels.

They did this without their 21 year old son's permission. They in essence forced him to procreate. That is a chilling precedent.

Also, this child will not be identical to their son. He--or she--may look exactly like the surrogate mother. Half the kid's DNA will be the mother's. They will be disappointed, and that will reflect on how they treat the kid.

How weird will it be for this kid to know how he came into the world, and with no biological parents around? He will just have grandparents, who may not even live long enough to see him reach adulthood. And he will always know he was born to replace his biological dad, not because anyone wanted him specifically.

Why can't they just ADOPT a poor kid who needs a home and is wasting away in foster care? Their "lineage" does not need to be preserved at all costs. The megalomania of this is sickening.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue May 21, 2019, 02:45 PM

27. This is creepy and seems disrespectful of the person who was in a coma & then died.

To think that someone could take something from your body to create another person, w/o your permission, is disturbing. Maybe the son wouldn't mind. But it's creepy.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue May 21, 2019, 03:32 PM

29. If you understand the cultural importance of family in China, this is not surprising.

There's a reason Chinese names have the family name first, and then the individual name.

Family is EVERYTHING in Chinese history/culture. It is the basis of Confucian thought.

If this young man was the hope for the future of the family, his parents' actions do not surprise me in the least.

I'm not saying I agree with it, but I understand the cultural mindset that led to that decision.

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Response to Coventina (Reply #29)

Wed May 22, 2019, 01:05 AM

62. Confucius's family has also been keeping track of their ancestry for 2500 years

Pretty insane, family is really serious business for the chinese.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Family_tree_of_Confucius_in_the_main_line_of_descent

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue May 21, 2019, 04:17 PM

30. on the surface it's way creepy

but it's not me or mine who are involved so go for it!

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Response to PupCamo (Reply #30)

Tue May 21, 2019, 07:02 PM

44. There are mortuary workers who have sex with their "clients".

But it's not for me to say that it's wrong. They're not hurting anyone, are they?

But it still seems really wrong, on a visceral I-think-I'm-gonna-throw-up level.

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Response to Dave Starsky (Reply #44)

Tue May 21, 2019, 09:20 PM

55. having sex with corpses is illegal

milking your dead son isn't

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Response to PupCamo (Reply #55)

Tue May 21, 2019, 09:26 PM

59. Well, thank you for that! That's good to know..

If you are someone who tends to flirt with the law on how to treat dead people.

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Response to Dave Starsky (Reply #59)

Wed May 22, 2019, 10:48 PM

69. my pleasure

have a good evening

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Response to PupCamo (Reply #55)

Mon May 27, 2019, 10:01 AM

95. But that could lead to an interesting discussion about why one is illegal and the other is not

And no, that doesn't necessarily mean defending the livings right to molest corpses, but rather arguing the point that certain rights should extend even past death. I say certain rights because I don't think dead people should be allowed to drive or vote.... Freedom of speech is also questionable when it comes to dead people. That sort of spooky behavior should not be tolerated in a civilized society. #BanOuijaBoardsAndHauntings

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Response to Sapient Donkey (Reply #95)

Mon May 27, 2019, 10:08 PM

98. I'm from West Virginia

and we have a long history of the dead voting

almost heaven and all that

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Response to Dave Starsky (Reply #44)

Tue May 21, 2019, 09:22 PM

57. Necrophilia is never having to say you're sorry. nt

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue May 21, 2019, 05:55 PM

32. I don't have a problem with this.

This was their only child. Of course they want grandchildren, most people do. It would be devastating for anybody to lose their only child.

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Response to LisaL (Reply #32)

Tue May 21, 2019, 09:05 PM

52. +1

Don’t see a problem with this.
The future is now.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue May 21, 2019, 06:28 PM

41. 'They don't want his story to end': Efforts to save the sperm of the deceased come with heartache an

They don’t want his story to end’: Efforts to save the sperm of the deceased come with heartache and tough questions

The child would be born to a father who was dead before his sperm fused with an egg. That egg — and the womb in which the child was carried — would belong to women who might not be a part of the child’s life. And it would all happen because of the determination of the child’s grandparents, enabled by the fateful signature of a judge.

In the case in question, a New York judge earlier this month ordered a medical center to save the sperm of Peter Zhu, a 21-year-old cadet at West Point Military Academy who died after a ski accident. His parents sought an emergency court order on March 1, the day his organs were going to be removed for donation, and just a few days after the accident, when their “entire world collapsed,” as they wrote in a petition to the court.

......

For a 2017 study, Ramasamy, the University of Miami urologist, and colleagues asked the top 75 academic medical centers in the country for their policies on posthumous sperm retrieval. Of the 41 that replied, only 11 had policies. One banned it, four required prior written consent, and six allowed for a person’s partner to provide consent. Five of the centers had a built-in “bereavement period.”

“I was surprised by how few academic centers had any policies in place,” he said. “It’s imperative that institutions have them.” (At Miami, doctors will only perform a posthumous retrieval if a wife requests it, Ramasamy said: “If it’s a girlfriend or parents or even a fiancee, we won’t do it.”)

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine has also urged medical centers to establish policies so that clinicians and administrators are not making a call on the fly. In the latest version of its recommendations, published last year, the society’s ethics committee wrote that hospitals are not “ethically obligated” to fulfill requests for posthumous sperm retrieval. But if a hospital is willing, the committee wrote, it “should only do so when such requests are initiated by the surviving spouse or partner,” not the parents.

In other words, it’s not up to our parents to decide if and when we have children.

“In the case of a partner or spouse, they presumably have a shared reproductive plan with the decedent,” said Judith Daar, a visiting professor of law at University of California, Irvine, and the chair of the society’s ethics committee. “That’s just not the case with parents. Their own reproductive rights and aspirations are independent of their child’s.”

.....

https://www.statnews.com/2019/03/13/postmortem-sperm-retrieval/

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue May 21, 2019, 09:22 PM

58. Do Not Have a Problem With This

I do not have a problem with this. Hopefully they will be happy if the child turns out to be a girl, or if his sperm only produces girls.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Wed May 22, 2019, 02:23 AM

63. The last paragraph makes it poignantly clear why his parents want this: China's "one child" policy

When I was very young, about 18, one of my professors put it this way: "We put all our genetic eggs in one basket." He and his wife were unable to have more than the one because her health did not permit it.

China's one-child policy has been very hard on individuals and on society. There's currently an imbalance of many millions in the male/female ratio because so many female fetuses were aborted in favor of sons. Not saying this family did that, but there they are with two girl cousins and no boy at all in the extended family. I am very sorry for their loss.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Wed May 22, 2019, 02:38 AM

64. What a bizarre number of people here have zero idea about reproductive technology...

Somehow I thought that by now nearly everyone understood the technology of fertility treatments, at least in outline. There is absolutely nothing new about what this family is undertaking.

Ethically, legally, and techologically, everything they are going to do has already been done all over the world. There is no guarantee of success, but as long as they can pay for it, doctors and cryolabs, egg donors and pregnancy surrogates, will be lining up to help them out, and as surrogates have to sign a contract that will be held up in court, no custody battle will ensue.

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Response to Hekate (Reply #64)

Wed May 22, 2019, 12:09 PM

68. Parents of a Deceased Person

are making decisions about whether he/she will reproduce and with whom without any kind of consent from the person? Well, if this is happening all over the world, I'm still against it. Talk about entitlement. Not to mention the appalling violation of their son's boundaries.

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Response to RobinA (Reply #68)

Thu May 23, 2019, 06:05 PM

72. I think the point the poster was making that a lot of posters here don't seem to have a clue about

reproductive technology that exists today to make it all possible.
As for son being dead, since he is dead, then presumably he isn't able to care about boundaries.
It's not like he is going to be asked to pay child support for the child that he didn't want to have. And as far as we know, he actually did want to have children, so parents in fact are following his wishes.
So how could having a child possibly hurt him?

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Response to LisaL (Reply #72)

Thu May 23, 2019, 09:00 PM

78. In addition, there have already been court battles over frozen sperm and zygotes...

In one case an infertile woman and her husband were divorcing, and their mutually-produced frozen zygotes were her last chance ever to have a baby of her own. I would not have wanted to be on that jury, as I have sympathy for both sides.

In another case, a wealthy old man died and his much-younger widow wanted an heir. His adult son by a previous marriage strenuously objected.

It's been a good 40 years since the first "test tube baby" and reproductive law and medical ethics are still all over the map.

Nothing stopped that crazy woman in Los Angeles from having 8 zygotes all at once implanted and then carrying them to term even when she already had a bunch of kids she couldn't take care of. I think the parents of the West Point cadet have a much better ethical case for attempting to have one grandchild than Octomom did for trying to have litters.



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Response to Hekate (Reply #78)

Fri May 24, 2019, 12:03 PM

81. I Have No Sympathy

for any of the cases you mention, because they all fall into the "Wwwhhhaaa...I want..." category. As does the deceased skier guy case. Can't have kids because your divorced husband won't let you use his half of a zygote? Tough luck. This isn't life or death.

To make these ethics questions less problematic it should be considered standard practice to designate, when you make a deposit of any kind of material capable of reproduction, what gets done with it in a variety of situations. Kinda like a will. And it's up to you to update as circumstances change. Also like a will. Sure, humankind will always come up with circumstances never imagined, but at least relatively common things will be covered - death, divorce, incapacitation.

Octomom -

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Response to RobinA (Reply #81)

Fri May 24, 2019, 01:12 PM

83. People who have zygotes frozen have a hard time letting go of them when they finally have kids...

In a way, you can see why. Infertile couples make a huge investment in the production of their potential offspring: physical, emotional, and financial. Some women hit the genetic jackpot when given a cycle of drugs to force ovulation, and produce a dozen or more eggs all at once. Then they get lucky again if hubby's sperm produce viable zygotes with the eggs, of which only a few may be implanted, the rest frozen.

If the woman is not lucky, all this effort goes for nought. A friend of mind produced only 3 eggs after many cycles of producing none at all. None of them -- well, she and her husband finally accepted their infertility rather than taking out a second mortgage.

In the US couples pay the cryobanks for long term storage, year after year. There's quite a glut of them -- these are the so-called "snowflake babies" that were being made so much of by the pro-birthers a few years ago when they needed something new to bang on about. They even had couples lined up promising to bear and raise the precious snowflake babies.

In Britain, medical ethicists have wisely given frozen zygotes an expiry date. If they have not been used after so many years, then the test tube is defrosted and clear liquid with nothing visible to the naked eye is poured away.

As for your "deposit" statement, it is to laugh. Men (often medical students) have been making "deposits" in sperm banks for generations -- they earn a bit of money this way, records are kept on his physical description and health, but otherwise it is as anonymous as possible, and the man walks away free as a bird, with absolutely no say in the future of his genetic material.

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Response to Hekate (Reply #83)

Fri May 24, 2019, 11:48 PM

91. If A Man

walks away from a sperm bank he obviously doesn’t care how it is used. I would also be very surprised if he doesn't sign something relinquishing all claims.

I’m really talking about people who enter an unanonymous situation and wish to stay out of court. I’m also suggesting what I think should be standard operating procedure in this area. People are free to do what they want. Leave your reproductive cells lying around with no limits on their use at your own risk.

And apparently, die fertile at your own risk, because your parents may decide to grow the family by making you a posthumous parent. Whether you like that idea or not.

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Response to LisaL (Reply #72)

Fri May 24, 2019, 11:39 AM

80. It Doesn't Hurt Him,

it's the larger issue. It hurts us all in the long run, because it erodes rights. It puts what the Grandparents want (and creates a precedent) over issues of consent, which used to be inviolable. I have sympathy for the parents for the loss of their son. I have absolutely no sympathy for their notion that they must have another male heir no matter what it takes. No you don't.

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Response to RobinA (Reply #80)

Fri May 24, 2019, 06:25 PM

87. That's the same logic that anti-choice people are using. Somehow a woman

having an abortion hurts all of them.
How does these grandparents having a grandchild affect you in particular?

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Response to LisaL (Reply #87)

Fri May 24, 2019, 11:33 PM

90. I Explained My Issue Above

It’s the larger erosion of rights, the importance of consent in a society, and whose claim prevails. It isn’t about me, you, deceased skier, or entitled Grandparents. There are larger issues in many ethical questions than how one person is affected. Look, you either get that or you don’t.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Thu May 23, 2019, 06:13 PM

76. Are we NOT the party of reproductive freedom?

I have absolutely no problem with this.

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Response to MicaelS (Reply #76)

Fri May 24, 2019, 12:10 PM

82. This Is NOT

reproductive freedom. The government and a third party deciding you should reproduce without your consent? Freedom? Just, no!

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Response to RobinA (Reply #82)

Fri May 24, 2019, 02:16 PM

85. The man is dead.

Unless he left a living will, his consent is irrelevant.

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Response to MicaelS (Reply #85)

Fri May 24, 2019, 11:21 PM

89. Oh Lord!

I’m just going to forget I read that on a supposed liberal board.

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Response to RobinA (Reply #89)

Sun May 26, 2019, 09:40 PM

93. So when relatives consent to organ donation for their diseased loved one, that's immoral?

Dead person can not give consent, so I am assuming you are against organ donation?

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Response to LisaL (Reply #93)

Tue May 28, 2019, 08:41 AM

99. No

Assume I make a distinction between organ donation and fathering a child. Also, assume that since I never used the word "immoral," it, along with its opposite "moral" was not a word that I use to describe any of my thinking in this case. Actually, in no case. I find it vague to the point of meaninglessness.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Thu May 23, 2019, 06:56 PM

77. Creepy..

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Fri May 24, 2019, 01:52 PM

84. If the "surrogate" is using her own eggs, then she is the mother.

Whether the grandparents try to keep her from her own child or not, she is the mother. It would be terrible to keep the child from her.

If she is using donor eggs then they plan on using a woman to procure themselves an infant. And even without a biological connection it can be very hard on a woman to simply leave the life of a child who she bore. That is why I oppose for-profit surrogacy. In fact, Jay Inslee's position on this matter cost him my vote.

The best option would be for them to seek out a woman who is single and looking to have a child. I am sure that many women would prefer to have a sperm donor whose identity is known to them so that their child has full knowledge of their paternal heritage.

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Response to StevieM (Reply #84)

Fri May 24, 2019, 06:24 PM

86. People are using surrogates day in and day out nowdays.

In fact that's how male gay couples are able to have children. You'd be opposing to that as well?

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Response to LisaL (Reply #86)

Fri May 24, 2019, 06:57 PM

88. In most cases, yes.

I oppose for-profit surrogacy. There is too much room for exploitation and coercion.

I am willing to consider being supportive if the surrogate is a family member, like one of the husband's sister, and she is guaranteed a relationship with the child as part of the surrogacy contract.

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Response to StevieM (Reply #88)

Fri May 24, 2019, 11:59 PM

92. I Oppose It

as well, but in the sense that I personally wouldn’t do it and I would advise anyone asking my opinion that I think it’s a massively bad idea. People should be free to do it if they decide they want to. I do think there should be safeguards in place. Hire an experienced lawyer. And in case of any dispute, the child must have an independent lawyer appointed by the court.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Mon May 27, 2019, 09:53 AM

94. Ehnn, no written documentation saying he wanted this happen...

I dunno, about this. I understand the family's motives and sympathize with them to an extent, but without some sort proof it's what he would want, it doesn't seem right.

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Response to Sapient Donkey (Reply #94)

Mon May 27, 2019, 02:45 PM

97. Most 20 year old who die accidentally wouldn't have any such written documentation.

Parents claim he told them he wanted children.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Mon May 27, 2019, 02:17 PM

96. That raises some interesting questions, for sure.

It's probably not something I would do.

But, it doesn't look like it's going to hurt me, or anybody else.

So, it's none of my business.

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Response to Captain Stern (Reply #96)

Tue May 28, 2019, 08:49 AM

100. Since It Was

taken into a public forum (court) and is the subject of a court opinion potentially resulting in a precedent, it becomes everybody's business if they choose to engage with the issue.

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Response to RobinA (Reply #100)

Tue May 28, 2019, 10:02 AM

103. Of course any precedent set in court would be all of our business.

However, whether or not someone personally chooses to do this, isn't any of mine.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue May 28, 2019, 09:01 AM

102. dis·gust·ing !

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