Monday, March 28, 2011

Months After Son's Death, Parents Demand His Sperm So 'He Will Continue to Live in the Bodies of Others'

The parents of 27-year-old Israeli man Ohad Ben-Yaakov, who died last September after being injured while installing an air-conditioner at his part-time job, want to use his sperm so that he "will continue to live in the bodies of others". The parents (pictured, above) want grandkids and want to find a surrogate for Ohad's sperm.
His parents, Mali and Dudi Ben-Yaakov, donated his organs following his death and are now demanding permission to use his sperm to continue the family line. Ohad was in a coma for two weeks following the accident. "When the parents realised that their son was brain dead, they asked one of the doctors about the procedure for drawing sperm," Haaretz has reported. "They filed a request at the Family Court, which authorised the drawing of the sperm, but its use for the fertilising of an egg is limited to the partner of the man." Haaretz has reported that the Ben-Yaakovs "embarked on a precedent-setting legal battle" this week when they appealed to Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein for permission to use their dead son's sperm. The parents said: "If we were entitled to donate the organs of our son why are we not entitled to make use of his sperm in order to bring offspring to the world?" Haaretz said the case was unique "because Ohad did not leave behind written or verbal instructions on using his sperm, and his parents embarked on their legal struggle without a woman who would serve as the mother of the child". "At this stage their claim is to ownership rights of the sperm," it reported. "Based on instructions set by the attorney-general in 2003, a woman whose partner was killed may use his sperm to bear children. In Israel the right of the parents to ownership of the sperm of their child is not yet recognised." The Ben-Yaakovs consulted friends and family over their decision to donate Ohad's organs. His parents initially "rejected the idea of donating his organs, but understood that these could save other lives, and agreed". "He was a giving person, and when we realised that there is no way to bring him back, we wanted that Ohad will continue to live in the bodies of others. This is what he would have wanted," they said. Ohad's parents want to find a woman who would be willing to become pregnant with their son's sperm. They said they did not want her to "be brought into the legal battle". "In 2003, then-attorney-general Elyakim Rubinstein held talks with legal, medical and ethics experts, and it was agreed to grant legal auspices to the sperm to the partner, but not the parents," Haaretz said. Rubinstein said: "Except for his partner, there is no legal standing [to the parents] on the issue of their children's fertility. Not in their lifetime, and certainly not when they are dead." "Providing an opening to the parents of a partner to enter intimate and private area such as this raises very difficult questions and complex issues, and this should be avoided," Rubinstein said. "The law does not recognise the right to have a grandchild."
This sounds creepy and weird and creepy. The family's attorney says Mali and Dudi there are property ownership qualities to sperm bank donations therefore, there should be similar ownership rights to the legal inheritors of the sperm.
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