ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS

A LIST OF ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS FOR POSTHUMOUS REPRODUCTION

The list of Ethical Considerations to be taken into account for Posthumous Reproduction using cryopreserved gametes or embryos belonging to a Deceased Person is non-exhaustive. The Ethical Considerations include first and foremost the determination as to whether there are any Advance Written Directives made under the hand of the Deceased person and must by necessity also include the consideration as to whether the said Advance Directive is an accurate reflection of the wishes of the Deceased or whether with the passage of time, there has been some change in circumstance viz these directives by virtue of the possible unforeseen breakdown in the relationship between the Deceased and his/her spouse or partner.

Another critical Ethical Consideration for posthumous reproduction includes the determination of the best interests of the child to be born here from. Thought must be given to the implications for the child of not being able to ever have a relationship with the Deceased, the legal status of the said child, and what information would be reflected on the child’s birth certificate by virtue of the child having been posthumously created. The inheritance rights of the child is another key determinant in this enquiry.

Other key ethical considerations include the weight that should be placed on an advanced directive for posthumous reproduction where the wishes of the Deceased and the Deceased spouse or partner conflict with the interests of the Deceased’s extended family. Additional consideration includes the situation where the wishes of the spouse or partner do not line up with that of the Deceased who is in terms of the written directive has given that person the right to use the cryopreserved gametes and must by necessity include the safeguards that need to be put in place to safeguard this person in the face of potential overwhelming pressure to carry out the Reproductive Wishes of the Deceased.

Posthumous reproduction using cryopreserved gametes or embryo

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