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Artificial insemination ethics

A physician was recently convicted of using his own sperm for artificially inseminating his patients. He told the court that he didnâ??t see anything wrong with this practice because these women came to him wanting to have a child. However, his patients were unaware that he was using his own sperm for the procedure. Some of his office staff became suspicious of the physicianâ??s methods, but failed to report their suspicions immediately. Many children were conceived as a result of this physicianâ??s sperm having been implanted into the mothers.
a. Is this a legal, ethical, or bioethical issue? Explain your answer.

b. Was the office staff at fault?

c. What are the potential long-term effects for this physicianâ??s patients and staff?

Solution Preview

Artificial insemination is a bioethical issue for many, but is a viable option for many couples. However, the physician's actions are both a legal and bioethical issue. First, patients, women who wish to use this form of conception, must be informed of procedures and provided with information on exactly what the procedure entails. It is unlikely that if they are informed, that the physician's sperm is used, they will consent. So the legal issue surrounds informed consent. Ethically, the ...

Solution Summary

The solution discusses a case of artificial insemination and the legal and psychological ramifications, of failing to get consent, for use of the physician's sperm. It also discusses the obligation that healthcare staff have, in reporting suspicions of unethical or illegal actions.