Although artificial insemination and methods of sperm storage have been heralded as one of the
major discoveries that has revolutionised the medical field and provided a ray of hope to several
couples destitute of children, it has also been held responsible for giving rise to numerous issues of
ethics within the medical sphere. The process of Posthumous Sperm Retrieval (PSR) in particular, has
stirred up a myriad of reactions from the various medical practitioners across the world. Though
many nations condone this method and the subsequent pregnancy, the UK has been quite receptive
of it. The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), a regulating body for the licensing
and monitoring fertility clinics and all research in the UK regarding human embryos1, permits a
woman to use the sperm from a deceased partners exclusively if she able to provide proof to the
fact that he, upon knowing that he is terminally ill, writes up a consent and provides a sperm sample
in the hopes that she carries his child.
In the particular case of Diane Blood, the ethical issues involved are across various matters. The chief
concerns are focussed around consent from and respect to the deceased’s body, Diane’s autonomy
and the welfare of the children. It also seems to me that each of the people involved in this case or
to be affected by it have a personal ethical dilemma to deal with. This report attempts to highlight
the major complexities that are evident in the case study and also suggests a few possible courses of
People Involved
1. Stephen Blood: Husband to Diane Blood and the unfortunate victim of bacterial meningitis. He
apparently gave verbal permission to Diane before his death to conduct the PSR process in case
anything happened to him.
2. Diane Blood: Married to Stephen Blood and fought hard to gain permission from the authorities
to use her deceased husband’s sperm to bear…

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