Sperm Retrieval: Mother Creates Life After Death

But Missy Evans is optimistic a pregnancy might come from the 20 vials of sperm that were harvested from her son Nikolas, enough for multiple attempts at in vitro fertilization.

She is also certain Nikolas would have consented -- her reasoning in agreeing to donating his heart, liver, kidneys and pancreas.

"He helped five people live that day," said Evans. 'If you say I am no longer in charge, how can I give five gifts? I am happy about that, but why can't I have a gift? Why do I lose everything?"

But according to Art Caplan, chair of the department of medical ethics at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, "It's one thing to save a life and another thing to make a new one."

Organ Donation Didn't Consider Sperm

"The Uniform Anatomical Gift Act did not include gametes when it was written in 1980s," he told ABCNews.com. "No one was thinking of post-mortem sperm."

"Is the request from a relative close enough to know the wishes of the deceased for reproduction?" he asked. "Your wife or fiance may have more to say than your mother. We've seen situations where strangers showed up. Is this person in a position to parent? If an 80-year-old grandmother can't raise the children, who will she give it to?"

Caplan said grieving parents need a "cooling off period" to confront their motivation and resources for creating a child.

"You need to have a review by courts, hospitals should have ethics committee review mandatory and the law needs to catch up with technology," he said.

Dr. Jeanne O'Brien, assistant professor of urology at University of Rochester Medical Center in New York, said she understands the "pure pain" that parents feel when they lose a child.

"These people are in terrible pain beyond imagining and don't think beyond their loss," she told ABCNews.com. "These people have suffered a huge loss and they see this as a potential to ease their pain. If we sit down and have a frank discussion, we can bring it in to a better light."

Now, nearly a year after her son's sperm was collected, Missy Evans is surer than ever that she made the right choice and wants to help pass legislation that will make it easier for parents -- especially those who have lost sons in war -- to reap their sperm.

"My boyfriend and I are talking about getting married," she said. "We are looking into medical grant programs. We have our 401(k)s and what we make now -- we definitely make a good living. It could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, but it's something I will never give up on."

"I know he would think this is OK," said Evans. "He would want me to do whatever I needed to do and I wanted something to live on."

ABC Affiliate WFAA reporter Janet St. James contributed to this report.

-- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 9913939. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 9913939. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 9913939. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 9913939. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 9913939.
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...