Would you use a dead man's sperm?
After everything -- the illness or trauma that causes a man to die, the decisions around whether to try to get sperm, the processes and procedure involved if you do decide to -- the surprising thing is, most relatives never even use the sperm.
Rothman and Bastuba view post-mortem sperm extraction mostly as an act of compassion for those who are grieving. Of the roughly 200 procedures they have performed, says Rothman, the extracted sperm have only been used twice. "What I'm finding is most of the time it's done to [ease] the immediate grief of a family with a loss."
Bastuba agrees: "Like so many things in life, it's not the actual. It's the perception. This longing to try to keep a piece of someone who was so important. That, to me, is the true value." To his best recollection, no sperm from his post-mortem donors have produced a live child. In Israel, arguably one of the most permissive countries for posthumous reproduction, a 2011 article in Fertility and Sterility found that "none of the 21 post-mortem frozen tissue samples in our national sperm bank were requested for fertilization use during the past 8 years."