posthumous conception


Summary: Conception after the death of the male or female biological parent through techniques such as the use of gametes that have been stored during his or her lifetime or that were collected immediately after his or her death.

Top Publications

  1. Douglass A, Daniels K. Posthumous reproduction: a consideration of the medical, ethical, cultural, psychosocial and legal perspectives in the New Zealand context. Med Law Int. 2002;5:259-79 pubmed
    ..It is argued that each of these perspectives has important contributions to make to the multidisciplinary approach. The guidelines determined by the Committee are outlined, along with the processes used in arriving at these. ..
  2. Orr R, Siegler M. Is posthumous semen retrieval ethically permissible?. J Med Ethics. 2002;28:299-302 pubmed
    ..Even with consent, the welfare of the potential child must be considered. ..
  3. Land S, Ross L. Posthumous reproduction: current and future status. Urol Clin North Am. 2002;29:863-71 pubmed
    ..The physician must use sound judgment and comply with accepted standards, when present, before performing any service for posthumous sperm retrieval and reproduction. ..
  4. Kindregan C, McBrien M. Posthumous reproduction. Fam Law Q. 2005;39:579-97 pubmed
  5. Batzer F, Hurwitz J, Caplan A. Postmortem parenthood and the need for a protocol with posthumous sperm procurement. Fertil Steril. 2003;79:1263-9 pubmed
    ..We have looked to U.S. and international sources for guidance in current practice and to gain insight into the formulation of future policies. ..
  6. Raziel A, Friedler S, Strassburger D, Kaufman S, Umansky A, Ron El R. Nationwide use of postmortem retrieved sperm in Israel: a follow-up report. Fertil Steril. 2011;95:2693-5 pubmed publisher
    ..Four widows elected to discard the frozen sperm and all of the remaining spouses were uninterested in its fate. Because none of the samples were requested for use, the need for sperm procurement should be reconsidered. ..
  7. Parker M. 'Til death us do part: the ethics of postmortem gamete donation. J Med Ethics. 2004;30:387-8 pubmed
  8. Cannold L. Who owns a dead man's sperm?. J Med Ethics. 2004;30:386 pubmed
  9. Hurwitz J, Batzer F. Posthumous sperm procurement: demand and concerns. Obstet Gynecol Surv. 2004;59:806-8 pubmed

More Information


  1. Hostiuc S, Curca C. Informed consent in posthumous sperm procurement. Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2010;282:433-8 pubmed publisher
    ..By analyzing consent related issues we present a decision making algorithm for posthumous sperm procurement. ..
  2. Bahadur G. Death and conception. Hum Reprod. 2002;17:2769-75 pubmed
    ..This may be achieved by offering ample time for informed and support counselling. Finally, consideration should be expressed for the welfare of unborn child, in a balanced, pragmatic and sensible manner. ..
  3. White G. Commentary: legal and ethical aspects of sperm retrieval. J Law Med Ethics. 1999;27:359-61, 295 pubmed
  4. VanCannon K. Fathering a child from the grave: what are the inheritance rights of children born through new technology after the death of a parent?. Drake Law Rev. 2004;52:331-62 pubmed
  5. Starreveld J. [Post mortem semen acquisition: not without 'informed consent']. Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2004;148:801 pubmed
  6. Soules M. Commentary: posthumous harvesting of gametes--a physician's perspective. J Law Med Ethics. 1999;27:362-5, 295 pubmed
    ..Author offers a clinical perspective on problems arising from requests for postmortem sperm and oocyte retrieval. ..
  7. Nakhuda G, Wang J, Sauer M. Posthumous assisted reproduction: a survey of attitudes of couples seeking fertility treatment and the degree of agreement between intimate partners. Fertil Steril. 2011;96:1463-1466.e1 pubmed publisher
    ..Although most couples had concordant attitudes, discordance was also prevalent. Individuals often, but not always, were able to predict their partner's attitudes about PAR. ..
  8. Braun M, Baider L. Souvenir children: death and rebirth. J Clin Oncol. 2007;25:5525-7 pubmed
  9. Mayeda M. Present state of reproductive medicine in Japan - ethical issues with a focus on those seen in court cases. BMC Med Ethics. 2006;7:E3 pubmed
  10. Pastuszak A, Lai W, Hsieh T, Lipshultz L. Posthumous sperm utilization in men presenting for sperm banking: an analysis of patient choice. Andrology. 2013;1:251-5 pubmed publisher
    ..In summary, most men presenting for sperm banking provided consent for post-mortem sperm use, irrespective of reason for banking. Men who are in a relationship or who are fathers were more likely to agree to post-mortem sperm use. ..
  11. Serour G. Islamic perspectives in human reproduction. Reprod Biomed Online. 2008;17 Suppl 3:34-8 pubmed
    ..This information should help physicians in their decision before conscientious objection to offering various modalities of assisted reproduction to their infertile patients. ..
  12. Strong C. Gamete retrieval after death or irreversible unconsciousness: what counts as informed consent?. Camb Q Healthc Ethics. 2006;15:161-71 pubmed
  13. McSherry B. Posthumous reproduction. J Law Med. 2005;13:15-8 pubmed
  14. Hoffman S, Moriss A. Birth after death: perpetuities and the new reproductive technologies. Georgia Law Rev. 2004;38:575-631 pubmed
  15. Hans J. Attitudes toward posthumous harvesting and reproduction. Death Stud. 2008;32:837-69 pubmed publisher
    ..Overall, attitudes and obligation beliefs were primarily in favor of posthumous harvesting when contextual circumstances deemed suitable were portrayed. ..
  16. Check M, Check J, Summers Chase D, Choe J, Check D, Nazari A. Live birth after posthumous testicular sperm aspiration and intracytoplasmic sperm injection with cryopreserved sperm: case report. Clin Exp Obstet Gynecol. 2002;29:95-6 pubmed
    ..Viable pregnancies following IVF-ET and ICSI are possible even when using testicular sperm obtained posthumously. ..
  17. Mathieu S. [Being a family today - ethics for assisted reproductive techniques]. Gynecol Obstet Fertil. 2013;41:532-6 pubmed publisher
    ..How, in this context, developing an ethics for ART? From a fethnographic field survey, we show here how this ethos of ART develops and how, therefore, we consider the multiple ways of being a family today. ..
  18. Collins R. Posthumous reproduction and the presumption against consent in cases of death caused by sudden trauma. J Med Philos. 2005;30:431-42 pubmed
    ..The article concludes that the precondition of prior consent may be inappropriate in these situations. ..
  19. Scott M. A look at the rights and entitlements of posthumously conceived children: no surefire way to tame the reproductive Wild West. Emory Law J. 2003;52:963-96 pubmed
  20. McLachlan H, Swales J. Posthumous insemination and consent: the continuing, troubling case of Mr and Mrs Blood. Hum Reprod Genet Ethics. 2003;9:7-12 pubmed
  21. Siegel Itzkovich J. Israel allows removal of sperm from dead men at wives' request. BMJ. 2003;327:1187 pubmed
  22. Hill J. Posthumous sperm retrieval. Lancet. 2003;361:1834 pubmed
  23. Barton S, Correia K, Shalev S, Missmer S, Lehmann L, Shah D, et al. Population-based study of attitudes toward posthumous reproduction. Fertil Steril. 2012;98:735-740.e5 pubmed publisher
    ..Almost 50% of the general population support posthumous reproduction in men and women. The majority favored prior consent from the deceased. These data caution against emergency gamete harvesting without prior consent. ..
  24. Middleton S, Buist M. Sperm removal and dead or dying patients: a dilemma for emergency departments and intensive care units. Med J Aust. 2009;190:244-6 pubmed
    ..Recent Victorian Law Reform Commission recommendations attempt to streamline the law to make a man's consent the cornerstone of decision making for both harvesting and subsequent use of sperm. ..
  25. Spielman B. Pushing the dead into the next reproductive frontier: post mortem gamete retrieval under the uniform anatomical gift act. J Law Med Ethics. 2009;37:331-43 pubmed publisher
  26. Raziel A, Friedler S, Strassburger D, Kaufman S, Umansky A, Ron El R. Using sperm posthumously: national guidelines versus practice. Fertil Steril. 2010;94:1154-6 pubmed publisher
  27. Pobjoy J. Medically mediated reproduction: posthumous conception and the best interests of the child. J Law Med. 2007;15:450-68 pubmed
    ..that the best interests of the potential child should be the primary consideration in any case involving posthumous conception. Drawing heavily on the normative foundations provided by international law, the author attempts to ..
  28. Taylor R. Human property: threat or saviour?. E Law. 2002;9:E4 pubmed
  29. Connors R. Y v Austin Health and the Royal Women's Hospital. J Law Med. 2006;13:292-4 pubmed
  30. Parker M. Teaching medical ethics and law. J Law Med. 2012;19:444-53 pubmed
    ..Questions like the one addressed here will help inform future deliberations concerning minimal requirements for teaching medical ethics. ..
  31. . Posthumous collection and use of reproductive tissue: a committee opinion. Fertil Steril. 2013;99:1842-5 pubmed publisher
    ..This document replaces the ASRM Ethics Committee report, "Posthumous reproduction," published in September 2004 (Fertil Steril 2004;82[Suppl 1]:S260-2). ..
  32. Ohl D, Park J, Cohen C, Goodman K, Menge A. Procreation after death or mental incompetence: medical advance or technology gone awry?. Fertil Steril. 1996;66:889-95 pubmed
    ..Although the retrieval of sperm from deceased or incompetent individuals may be achieved readily, it is incumbent upon the practitioner to consider the legal and moral implications of these procedures before proceeding. ..
  33. Kerr S, Caplan A, Polin G, Smugar S, O Neill K, Urowitz S. Postmortem sperm procurement. J Urol. 1997;157:2154-8 pubmed
    ..There are no explicit ethical guidelines, legislation or relevant case law, and fertility specialists must confront these issues before proceeding in a field fraught with moral and policy uncertainties. ..
  34. Schenker J. Assisted reproductive practice: religious perspectives. Reprod Biomed Online. 2005;10:310-9 pubmed
  35. Schiff A. Arising from the dead: challenges of posthumous procreation. North Carol Law Rev. 1997;75:901-65 pubmed
  36. McCrimmon L. Gametes, embryos and the life in being: the impact of reproductive technology on the rule against perpetuities. Real Property Probate Trust J. 2000;34:697-720 pubmed
    ..This discussion includes the arguments for and against recognition of the embryo as a life in being, as well as suggestions for legislative solutions to this issue. ..
  37. Rennie E. Access to donor insemination: Canadian ideals--UK law and practice. Med Law Int. 1999;4:23-38 pubmed
    ..This paper attempts a comparative examination of UK legislation on reproductive technology in this light, with particular focus on the rationing of access to donor insemination. ..
  38. Jones S, Gillett G. Posthumous reproduction: consent and its limitations. J Law Med. 2008;16:279-87 pubmed
  39. Lupton M. Can ethics survive the onslaught of science?. Med Law. 2013;32:251-75 pubmed thesis by using examples of legal decisions from the realm of assisted human procreation and the posthumous conception of children from the sperm of deceased fathers e.g...
  40. Quinn G, Knapp C, Malo T, McIntyre J, Jacobsen P, Vadaparampil S. Physicians' undecided attitudes toward posthumous reproduction: fertility preservation in cancer patients with a poor prognosis. J Support Oncol. 2012;10:160-5 pubmed publisher
    ..Further education may raise physicians' awareness of poor-prognostic patients' interest in pursuing this technology. ..
  41. Ball E. Property and the human body: a proposal for posthumous conception. J Law Med. 2008;15:556-70 pubmed
    ..greater error in law and bioethics than the continuing opposition to applying the concept of property to posthumous conception cases and the human body generally...
  42. Bahadur G. Protocols for posthumous fatherhood. Fertil Steril. 2004;81:223; author reply 223-4 pubmed
  43. Bennett B. Posthumous reproduction and the meanings of autonomy. Melb Univ Law Rev. 1999;23:286-307 pubmed
    ..The article concludes that the issues in this area need to be analysed in terms of autonomy interests that are understood relationally. ..
  44. Berry J. Life after death: preservation of the immortal seed. Tulane Law Rev. 1997;72:231-56 pubmed
    ..It discusses the attendant conflicts of procreative rights, finality of probate, psychological issues, international law, and recent cases. Ultimately, comprehensive legislation must be enacted to address these issues. ..
  45. Ahmad N. Assisted reproduction--Islamic views on the science of procreation. Eubios J Asian Int Bioeth. 2003;13:59-61 pubmed
    ..Some of the issues remain controversial and need detailed discussion before it can be deemed as appropriate and legible for use as guidelines in the development of the processes involved. ..
  46. Shenfield F. Current ethical dilemmas in assisted reproduction. Int J Androl. 1997;20 Suppl 3:74-8 pubmed
    ..Specific problems relating to andrology are analysed within the larger context of different ethical theories. ..
  47. Ravitsky V. Posthumous reproduction guidelines in Israel. Hastings Cent Rep. 2004;34:6-7 pubmed
  48. Pennings G. Legal harmonization and reproductive tourism in Europe. Hum Reprod. 2004;19:2689-94 pubmed
    ..A soft or compromise legislation will keep reproductive travelling to a minimum. Reproductive tourism is a safety valve that reduces moral conflict and expresses minimal recognition of the others' moral autonomy. ..
  49. Hoffman S, Morriss A. New reproductive technologies and the inheritance rights of unborn children. J Law Med Ethics. 2003;31:721-4 pubmed
  50. Shefi S, Raviv G, Eisenberg M, Weissenberg R, Jalalian L, Levron J, et al. Posthumous sperm retrieval: analysis of time interval to harvest sperm. Hum Reprod. 2006;21:2890-3 pubmed
    ..PSR should be considered up to 36 h after death, following appropriate evaluation. No correlation was found between cause of death and chance for successful sperm retrieval. ..
  51. Connors R. Yz v Infertility Treatment Authority. J Law Med. 2006;13:289-91 pubmed
  52. Aziza Shuster E. A child at all costs: posthumous reproduction and the meaning of parenthood. Hum Reprod. 1994;9:2182-5 pubmed
    ..Particularly, the cryopreservation of spermatozoa for post-mortem reproduction forces us to come to terms with the meaning of human reproduction, and the extent of individual rights to procreate using artificial means. ..
  53. Cameron N. Pandora's progeny: ethical issues in assisted human reproduction. Fam Law Q. 2005;39:745-79 pubmed