Remember That Old 1963 Song By The Angels, “My Boyfriend’s Dead And I Want To Have His Baby (Hey-la, Hey-la, My Boyfriend’s Dead)”?

Neither do I.

This goes in the “How in the world does someone get the idea that this is ethical?” file.

Coloradan Kate Criswell’s boyfriend Tom Alexander died over the weekend after having heart problems while the two of them were hiking. Then she had a great idea: why not have the hospital harvest his sperm, so she could be artificially inseminated and have his baby! Unfortunately, sperm viability only lasts 24-48 hours after death, the hospital didn’t have the equipment necessary to extract and preserve Alexander’s sperm, nor was there any legal documentation of his consent for such a procedure.

Criswell doesn’t understand why taking his sperm should be such a big deal. After all, she says, he’s an organ donor. Isn’t that the same thing as being a “give my sperm to any woman who asks for it” donor?

“Tom was amazing,” says his ex-girl friend. “He was always so generous and loved me so much and always made sure that I knew that. He took such good care of me.”

Yes, I would imagine that she needs a lot of taking care of, since she is an idiot. Criswell said she will take up the fight with state lawmakers, so this doesn’t happen to anyone else, “this” meaning ” a couple doesn’t get married, he dies, and the law stops her from unilaterally using his sperm to have his baby without his consent, thus gaining claim to his estate, and maybe even part of his family’s estate.” And what if he had more girl friends? What empowers her to be the only one to with a claim to his genetic material? How many of his babies can she have? Does she want the legislature to declare any dead man’s sperm to be a public resource? What constitutes being a “girl friend”? If he had wanted to have a baby with Kate, why didn’t Tom get her pregnant before he died? Since he didn’t, isn’t there a rebuttable presumption that he didn’t want to start a family with her? If you wanted a baby so much, Kate, why didn’t you two love birds get married? Or are you thinking of Tom’s baby as more of a souvenir?

Based on the fact that this woman thinks “organ donor” applies to sperm, there may also be a public policy argument against this pregnancy based on eugenics.

____________________

Pointer: Tim Levier

27 Comments

Filed under Bioethics, Childhood and children, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Family, Gender and Sex, Health and Medicine, Law & Law Enforcement, Romance and Relationships

27 responses to “Remember That Old 1963 Song By The Angels, “My Boyfriend’s Dead And I Want To Have His Baby (Hey-la, Hey-la, My Boyfriend’s Dead)”?

  1. Wayne

    Is this going to have to be written in a pre nuptial agreement from now on?

  2. Other Bill

    She wants to have a child who may inherit his father’s heart problem, whatever it may have been?

    • Pennagain

      How the hell did this ever go out over the air? I thought there were strict rules about “lang-wich.” Not? Oh, wow. Wish I’d known when we had our kid station for a week!

  3. Glenn Logan

    It’s not about laws, it’s about feelz!

    DON’T YOU FREAKING GET THAT?!? CAN’T YOU, JUST FOR ONE MINUTE, FEEL AND FORGET LEGAL CRAP LIKE CONSENT?

    Never mind that we require at least verbal consent for every kiss nowadays, let alone taking unused semen from dead guys bodies and making a baby out of it. IT’S THE FEELZ, AND I HAZ THEM, AND YOU’RE A HEARTLESS BASTARD! I’LL SHOW YOU, I’LL CHANGE YOUR STUPID LAWZ!!!

    For the love of God, man, we don’t need your crap logic, or your crap leeegalizms. WE NEED MORE FEELZ!!!

    AAARGGHH!!! [throws record player through television]

  4. Chris

    Insane. She has absolutely no legal or ethical right to this.

  5. Wayne

    Will this lead to unscrupulous women going on hikes with guys with concealed plastic cups and turkey basters?

  6. Great suspense movie if it turned out she killed him after he refused to get her pregnant.

  7. You seem to have taken a different route on the pop culture reference. I was thinking more along the lines of Clerks and the GF screwing the dead guy in the bathroom that had been looking at the porn mags.

  8. crella

    In a case similar to this, friends of mine lost their son, and there was a legal battle over ownership of the sperm he stored before he began cancer treatment. He and his fiancee planned to use it to have a child after he was done treatment, and they married, but it didn’t come to pass. He left no directive as to what he wanted done with it in the event he passed away, and it was legally owned by the hospital. The parents said it was the last part of their son that existed, and they fought for possession and lost. The lawyers for the hospital said it would set a dangerous precedent to hand over such samples in the absence clear directives left by the deceased.

    As for the couple in this news story, they had a miscarriage a few months ago, so it looks like they were trying to start a family. His mother is on the news with her, too, saying that her son would have wanted her to have a baby. He may have wanted a child with her, but who knows how he would have felt about a child of his growing up fatherless? He did NOT agree to that, but she’s insisting he wanted a child..he did, while he was alive. My friends were insistent that their son would have wanted his fiancee to have a baby, but in either case it was not the scenario either man was imagining when they talked of starting a family. I understand the grief of those left behind, but still…

    • Thanks for doing the additional research. I was instantly uninterested in anyone making such a silly demand. Of course, a pregnancy and a miscarriage doesn’t mean that he wanted a child, or wanted a child with her. We have no idea what he wanted.

      • crella

        I was just curious. You’re right, there is no way to know what he wanted. There was one text from him highlighted in one video, saying he would be willing to ‘do whatever it takes’ to make their having a family possible…but…no date for that text is given. It could have been years ago, for all we know. I find it rather disturbing, as I did my friend’s situation. All kinds of emotions and thoughts projected onto the deceased so that someone left behind can get what they want. Another version of ‘the ends justify the means’.

  9. Tom R

    This makes my head explode. Unless he gave prior consent this is completely wrong. I’m just going to pretend she’s really upset and this is a way to keep him alive somehow metaphorically by having his kid.

  10. So if your mind moves into the ‘gold digger’ scam territiry, what prevents a guy from asking the same? Ova are only available for a short time each month, but if the timing is right (or the death is timed right, if your mind works that way)?

    New way to inherit an estate, maybe?

  11. dragin_dragon

    Army supply has a designation for this woman.
    HEAD, AIR, ONE EACH. I forget the serial number.

  12. luckyesteeyoreman

    [second attempt to post comment]
    “Based on the fact that this woman thinks ‘organ donor’ applies to sperm, there may also be a public policy argument against this pregnancy based on eugenics.”

    There may be a public policy argument, but it would be no surprise to see pro-Criswell forces win it.

    Criswell’s ignorance of ethics, or arrogant disregard for ethics, liberates the same control freakdom that results in so many cases of “pro-life AND pro-choice” schizophrenia about abortion. What if the fetal child is found to have the same heart defect that led to Tom’s death? No problem, just kill it. Try again with Tom’s sperm if you so choose, and kill till you have the baby you want. What if there is a donor mix-up? No problem, just kill it. And so on.

    Still, I can see a “pro-woman” government rigging the law in favor of people like Criswell. Because to not so rig the law, “MISOGYNIST!” Because “MISOGYNIST!” aborts political careers, and abortion of political careers must be avoided by all means at all costs.

    Now, if by any chance Tom had a last will and testament, and specified that the following be sung at his funeral “for Kate,” then maybe under anti-misogyny laws, she would have a case for rights to his sperm: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFHWl-ZyRAg

    • I’m sorry: just found your first version in spam, for some reason. Now there are two versions. I’ll kill the one I just released.

      • luckyesteeyoreman

        Jack – thanks for saying something in follow-up. Yesterday, for a while, I didn’t know whether to try again in a few hours, or try the next day, or just assume I had been banned and settle back into silent blog-following. (I do recognize that I am, or at least have been, one of your more deserving-of-being-banned commenters. I appreciate your grace more than you know.)

  13. Paul Compton

    I assume some news source published this. Why?

  14. iiTime

    Perhaps there is a market for portable sperm extraction equipment. Given that time is of the essence for viable sperm, a gal pal can harvest the seed whenever her man expires on the hiking trails of life. No one else need be involved in this ethics dilemma and abuse of a corpse.

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