Child of Lazarus

Scientists tend to agree that there comes a point in the life of a parent when their concentration turns from raising and supporting their own children, to focusing their attention (albeit of a less physical nature) on their grandchildren. This change manifests itself physically in women as part of the menopausal process where females can no longer procreate herself. But what ethical quick-sand might we find ourselves in if we allow grandparents to raise their own grandchildren without their children's permission or without them simply being alive?

In the midsts of Israel's current policy on sexual healthcare and, more importantly, on allowing couples an infinite allowance of IVF treatment up to the successful birth of two children, the case of Mali and Dudi Ben-Yaakov brings to light a moral predicament about whether we should use the sperm or eggs of dead relatives to produce new ones. Jezebel has more:

''When Mali and Dudi Ben-Yaakov learned their son was brain dead, they had his sperm extracted. Now they're awaiting the decision of Israel's attorney general on whether they'll be permitted to find a woman to bear their grandchild. '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?' they asked in Haaretz.'

'For years, Rosenblum, the Ben-Yaakovs' lawyer, has been fighting to give bereaved parents the power that the guidelines denied them. In 2001, she campaigned for the army to adopt what she called a biological will, offering soldiers the option of freezing their sperm or eggs in order to see their lineage continue in the event of their death.'

It seems that the sci-fi contexts of our old 1984-style films might be closer to our present time than we previously thought.

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