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    Consent and the Regulation of Posthumous Conception

    Maddox, Neil (2019) Consent and the Regulation of Posthumous Conception. (Submitted)

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    Children being born after the death of their genetic father is certainly not a new phenomenon. Accident, disease and disaster can always bring death after the act of conception and before the birth of a child. The common law recognises this fact by extending the presumption that the child is the ‘legitimate’ offspring of the deceased if it is born within the normal period of gestation.1 Rapid advances in artificial reproductive technology (ART) in the second half of the twentieth century now mean it is possible for a child to be both conceived and born after the death of its biological father or mother (or indeed after the death of both). This has led to novel and complicated legal and ethical debates concerning the permissibility of the procedure itself as well as the welfare and status of the posthumously conceived child.2 In the absence of regulation, there is a danger that the posthumous child will be left with only one legal parent, 3 affecting both its capacity to inherit from its deceased parent’s estate, as well as presenting issues as to filiation and identity. Although the posthumous collection of gametes from both men and women is theoretically possible, I focus predominantly on posthumous sperm retrieval in this article for the simple reason that posthumous collection of eggs is a rarer and more complicated procedure than posthumous removal of sperm.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Consent; Regulation; Posthumous Conception;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Law
    Item ID: 10930
    Depositing User: Dr. Neil Maddox
    Date Deposited: 09 Jul 2019 15:29
    Refereed: Yes
      Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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