September 25, 2022

Grieving Texas mother harvests dead son’s sperm

Part of healing process, she says
Nicholas EvansA Texas woman has persuaded a court to allow her to harvest her 21-year-old
son’s sperm after his death in a bar brawl. Marissa Evans wants to hire a
surrogate mother to bear her grandchildren. Forty-two-year-old Ms. Evans says that
these "would help to heal my heart somewhat" after the sorrow of losing her son
Nicholas.

The remarkable thing is how easy it has been for Ms Evans to put her scheme
into practice, even though doctors and the media thought it bizarre. There is no
clear indication that Nicholas was interested in siring children posthumously.
However Texas law grants next-of-kin the right to dispose of the body, which
includes harvesting organs, which includes harvesting sperm. In the eyes of the
law, apparently, semen is merely another kind of tissue.

"It was just a matter of proving some legal justification for the physicians
to go forward without concern that they would be getting into some deep water,"
said Ms Evan’s lawyer, Mark Mueller. "It’s not that complicated. It’s what the
son would have wanted as far as we know, and what the mom wanted."

However, bioethicists had misgivings. "That child’s biological father will be
dead. The mother may be an egg donor, anonymous or gestational surrogate," Tom
Mayo, director of Southern Methodist University’s Maguire Center for Ethics and
Public Responsibility, told AP. "This is a tough way for a kid to come into the
world. As the details emerge and the child learns more about their origins, I
just wonder what the impact will be on a replacement child." ~ AP, Apr 8; Dallas
Morning News, Apr 10