Sperm donation: terms and conditions apply (BioNews)

‘‘…there is a widespread belief that the donation of bodily material to strangers should be a freely given gift, which is not contingent upon the recipient conforming to the donor's specifications."

A well articulated and thought provoking comment in response to a recent report that a sperm donor sued a fertility clinic after discovering that his sperm had been used in the treatment of same-sex couples, even though he’d specified in advance that he didn’t want this to happen. The article raises some challenging questions and anomalies for us to consider, such as: ‘Is positively choosing to donate to a particular person different from choosing not to donate to other people because of their particular and protected characteristics? Many people will think that there is a difference, but why?’ The article looks at the donation of other bodily material such as organ donation and how it differs, and the fact that while clinics are bound by the Equality Act not to discriminate, potential donors can still opt for an (unregulated) informal arrangement, with conditions on who uses their sperm.

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