A number of cases have arisen over recent decades in which sperm has been extracted from dead and dying men without their prior consent. These extractions are undertaken in order to allow the man's partner to become a mother, or his parents, to become grandparents. Currently, the techniques used to perform such extractions are highly invasive, requiring either the use of an electric probe inserted in the anus to stimulate ejaculation, or surgical removal of all or part of the testicles. However, the development of artificial gametes may make it possible to produce sperm from skin cells, in which case the interventions required are far less invasive. In this paper I consider whether artificial gametes would offer a morally preferable way of producing sperm from dead or dying men without their consent. I evaluate the role played by bodily integrity, and reproductive autonomy in such cases. I suggest that artificial gametes would be less problematic than current techniques. And I argue that concern for reproductive autonomy does not ground a right not to become a parent. Nevertheless, I show that, whatever technique is used in order to derive sperm from dead or dying men, it is rooted in a morally problematic tendency to reify such men. That is, their bodies become the means to achieving the reproductive ends of some third party. Thus, even if sperm could be obtained through minimally invasive techniques, we should still regard such interventions as being a cause for moral concern.
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