Bioethics Research Paper

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Anonymous sperm donation through a sperm bank is allowed in almost every state. Some states do have laws that allow children of anonymous sperm donors to learn the identity of their genetic father when they turn 18 or 21 years old. In this essay, I argue that it should be mandatory that contact information be given to every person who seeks an egg or sperm donation. When an anonymous donation is given, it is sometimes difficult for children to seek their biological parents, therefore this process is unethical for children who want to know who their biological parents are. Many children apart from children adopted, have rights to know their biological parents. Even though anonymous donation doesn’t entitle the person to leave contact, it is important for the child or parent of that child to have this information. There are many diseases that can come from heredity. Children should be able to trace these diseases and know what comes in their bloodline from their parents. Also some children can get sick, and will need a donor. The child may share the same blood type or could be a match with the anonymous donor, and how would they be able to reach out to this anonymous donor, so that their sickness can be treated or their lives can be saved. There are moral issues and legal rights that are involved with anonymous gamete donation. In the debate about donor anonymity this has been expressed as the child’s right to know the identity of its gamete donor. “As Harvey has claimed, ‘Increased knowledge and a gradual shift in attitudes has enabled us to acknowledge that in our contemporary culture young people have strong moral claims to know their genetic identities. It is now time for these moral claims to be converted into legal right. (Frith 2001) Many countries allow anonymous gamete donation, but some countries have changed their law when they were presented with the rights of the children. “The right to know one’s biological origins is a basic human right.” (Frith 2001) When looking at some of the moral rights, it can be said that children from adopted homes have a better protection than those conceived from gamete donation. The comparison between adoption and non-anonymous donation is important because it highlights the fact that although both sets of children supposedly have the same right to know their genetic parents, in practice that is not the case. In states where adopted children have the legal right both to be told about their status and the identity of their parents all adopted children are able to exercise the same rights. (Frith 2001) Unfortunately this same law does apply for children who were conceived through a donor. As the right to be told the nature of their conception exist only as a moral, rather than a legal right to access identifying information. Donor offspring who are denied their moral right are effectively prevented from exercising any legal right to find the identity of their genetic parents. (Frith 2001) All children should have equal ethical morals and rights when it comes to the identity of their biological parents. Anonymous sperm donation and countries that allow this type of gamete donation poses a problem for the children to have these rights.

When a person goes to a sperm bank to make a donation, they can waive their right as a parent. Donating sperm may not entitle you to be the parent to the child that may be conceived from it, but having access to the donor is important. In the moral complexity of sperm donation it is argued that the donor has a parental responsibility to the child. Biologically speaking, the person whose genetic material is transferred to create another being is the new being’s parent. This holds for all kinds of organisms, from the most complex to the most simple: when a simple cell splits in two, the two resulting cells are called the daughter cells of the original cell. This biological fact has a deep and persuasive impact on...
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