domingo, 17 de abril de 2016

Sperm donor scandal rocks US

Sperm donor scandal rocks US

Sperm donor scandal rocks US

Parents of donor-conceived children are suing a US sperm bank after it was discovered that one of the bank’s donors was a convicted criminal and schizophrenic.

Georgia-based Xytex Corp, the company at the centre of the lawsuit, advertised donor 9623 as a dream biological father, boasting a high IQ and impressive professional accomplishments (including being a PhD candidate in neuroscience engineering). After the man’s sperm was used to produce 36 children, one customer who had used the sperm accidentally stumbled across donor 9623’s true identity.

According to the claimants, the man has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, narcissistic personality disorder and grandiose delusions. They also allege the 39-year-old from Georgia spent eight months in jail after a residential burglary in 2005 and graduated with a bachelor’s degree just last year, 20 years after enrolling.

The information “made my heart sink like a lead ball into my stomach,” said Angela Collins, a parent who had used the man’s sperm.

Collins, who is one of the claimants, wants sperm banks to better screen donors, including carrying out medical and criminal background checks. She also hopes to push Xytex to create a medical fund for children affected by Donor 9623, to be used for intervention and treatment should any of them show signs of mental illness at a later date.

In a public statement Xytex has denied any wrongdoing.

“In this case, the donor underwent a standard medical exam and provided extensive personal and health information,” wrote Xytex president Kevin  M. O’Brien. “He reported a good health history and stated in his application that he had no physical or medical impairments. This information was passed on to the couple, who were clearly informed the representations were reported by the donor and were not verified by Xytex.”
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Former Austraiian Prime Minister Bob Hawke, who is now 86, has publicly backed euthanasia, even for teenagers. He says that he fears the indignity of "losing his marbles" -- something he is trying to keep at bay with crosswords and suduko. He told euthanasia activist Andrew Denton that his second wife, Blanche d'Alpuget, will know what to do if he ever reaches that stage. 
Acting as a poster boy for euthanasia is a sad end to a distinguished career. But it is, in a way, understandable. Dementia must be terrifying for people without adequate family support because of fractured relationships. And Mr Hawke, sadly, fractured his in a very public way by divorcing his first wife Hazel, who had been his spouse when he was Prime Minister, to marry his biographer, Ms d'Alpuget. 
Hazel went on to be one of the most respected and best-loved women in public life in Australia. People praised her honesty and courage when she admitted that she had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. She even published a book about it. Eventually she had to enter a nursing home where she lived for four years before her death. Mr Hawke was not there to help her. 
For all of his intelligence and charm, Bob Hawke is wrong about euthanasia. Dementia is a disability and a civilised society does not solve the problem of disability by killing the disabled. The real indignity comes when the "abled" neglect their responsibility to care for the weak and vulnerable

Michael Cook

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