Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Response to Orr and Siegler—collective intentionality and procreative desires: the permissible view on consent to posthumous conception
  1. M Parker
  1. Correspondence to:
 M Parker
 Mayne Medical School, Herston Rd, Herston, Queensland 4006, Australia;


Orr and Siegler have recently defended a restrictive view concerning posthumous sperm retrieval and conception, which would limit insemination to those cases where the deceased man has provided explicit consent for such a procedure. The restrictive view dominates current law and practice. A permissible view, in contrast, would allow insemination and conception in all but those cases where the posthumous procedure has been explicitly refused, or where there is no reasonable evidence that the deceased person desired children. I describe a phenomenology of procreative desires which supports the permissible view, and which is compatible with requirements concerning the interests of the decedent, concepts of medical infertility, and the welfare of the future child. The account illustrates how our current obsession with individual rights and autonomy can be self-defeating and repressive.

  • posthumous conception
  • consent
  • best interests
  • intentionality
  • desires

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


Other content recommended for you