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Devastated Parents With Son in Coma Sue for His Sperm So They Can Have Grandkid

by Jeanne Sager on November 8, 2012 at 11:20 AM

dead childThere is no horror for parents like the thought of losing a child. It could turn even the smartest, most grounded Mom or Dad into a raving lunatic. I can even understand why Jerri and Rufus McGill spent the days while their teenage son Rufus Arthur McGill was in a coma fighting for the right to harvest his sperm. But I can't say I think it was right.

He's their son. Creating a new child that shares some of his DNA isn't going to dial them back to the days before he crashed his mom's car. 

Rufus died this week at 19. His death ends his parents' legal battle. It's too late to collect their son's sperm.

More from The Stir: Dead Teen Sued for Losing Control of Flying Body Parts

My heart goes out to them. But I hope that in a few weeks, after the funeral, after things start to settle down and they are left to ponder that hole left in their hearts that the McGills realize that collecting their son's sperm was not going to fix this tragedy.

Collecting a dying child's sperm or eggs before death is fairly new, but the McGills aren't the first to try it. I have a sad feeling they won't be the last. Like I said before, parents trying to come to terms with the early loss of a child are not generally rational. You can understand why.

However, reality has to set in at some point. There is no "replacing" a lost child. If there is, we need to rethink the value we put on human life overall. You may love a new baby, you may spend so much time caring for them that you have less time to focus on your loss, but this is not a case where one equals one.

Not to mention, these cases generally involve teenage children whose parents seem to think that their proximity to adulthood makes it obvious that it's somehow fitting to grant them post-mortem parenthood. As if that fulfills an older child lost too soon's point in being on this earth. What does that say about our kids? That we value them as vessels for grandchildren?

What do you think of parents harvesting a dead child's sperm or eggs? Is this something we should encourage?

 

Image via NatalieMaynor/Flickr

Filed Under: issues, health

Comments

54
  • zombi...
    --

    zombiemommy916

    November 8, 2012 at 11:33 AM
    I would want to do it...maybe it's because I've lost an immediate family member unexpectedly...I know how crippling the grief can be...I also don't think any amount of therapy helps parents "get over" and "move on" from the tragedy...And while I know it's controversial and there would be tough questions to answer for when the future grandchild is older...who is ANYONE else to judge what a parent does with their dead child's legacy??
  • kay
    -- Nonmember comment from

    kay

    November 8, 2012 at 11:46 AM
    I think people need to remember that we do not OWN our children as possessions and it is not our right to do with them and their bodies as we please, ESPECIALLY after they're legal adults. This young man was still a human and NO ONE has the right to decide to make him a parent. This was clearly a self-serving move on the parents part. I hope the the law will continue to protect people's rights against things like this. What if it was a daughter in a coma and they wanted to impregnate her?
  • Maevelyn
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    Maevelyn

    November 8, 2012 at 11:54 AM

    idk, you still wouldn't get to see them be a parent, they would be leaving their grandchild fatherless and I'm going to assume that the poor kid will feel like a replacement for his lost "dad" because... well he is.


  • Lilac
    -- Nonmember comment from

    Lilac

    November 8, 2012 at 11:55 AM
    I kind of want to know what the plan was if they got his sperm? Were they going to hire a woman to be impregnated?
  • Alway...
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    AlwaysExpecting

    November 8, 2012 at 11:56 AM

    I agree with zombiemommy, I think I would be very interested in doing something like this, God forbid a circumstance like that ever happened.

    Yes, it will never replace a lost child, but there is such a thing a making a loss easier.  Grandkids are a very important apect to many people's lives, who is anyone to judge a loss parent in how they choose to move forward? 


  • Raech...
    -- Facebook comment from

    Raechelle Barber

    November 8, 2012 at 11:57 AM

    i couldn't say for sure if i would do it. wouldn't it be more disturbing if the parents ran out to found a surrogate to make another son? i don't really see the issue in this. i know my grandparents, who lost their daughter at 10, would have loved to have met her children one day. is it wrong? i don't think so. is it a bit strange? of course. but so is life.


  • ImaSo...
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    ImaSoulMom

    November 8, 2012 at 12:06 PM
    I don't think they are trying to replace their son. I know most parents want grandkids. When i had my first son, it was hard to keep grandparents on each side from running off with him. I doubt they would ever regret it. I think if we can decide to donate a loved ones organs and if these are loving and physically capable, it should be allowed.
  • AG1987
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    AG1987

    November 8, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    I can see why the parents would want a child that is biologically attached to their son, but I think it's wrong to harvest his sperm. These parents know the pain of losing a son - why force a child to grow up without a father when it's unnecessary? I know there are plenty of children growing up without fathers, but I would say a good majority of them expected to grow up WITH their fathers and things happened. There's no way I could bring a child into this world knowing he/she would be fatherless.


  • Farme...
    -- Nonmember comment from

    FarmersWife

    November 8, 2012 at 2:28 PM
    Sounds like repulsive torture to a dying soul. What happened to dying with dignity.
  • Sharon
    -- Nonmember comment from

    Sharon

    November 8, 2012 at 2:35 PM
    That's going to be the oddest Craiglist Ever. And in the extremely remote chance their kid ever wakes up how screwed up would be to find out he'd father a child with a woman his parents selected.
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