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11:10am on Tuesday, 8th August, 2006:

Anonymous Donors


There's apparently a crisis in sperm donation in the UK at the moment, with bulk imports having to come from Denmark to make up the shortfall. The root cause is the loss of anonymity on the part of donors, which was made law last year. Although there never really were all that many people entirely comfortable with the idea of ejaculating into a specimen jar and handing it, still warm from the body, to a nurse waiting outside the cubicle door, it seems that the prospect of being confronted with the results of such emissions 20 years later was too alarming even for these hardy individuals to contemplate. Health authorities naturally deny that the anonymity law has had anything to do with the drop in donors, even though it was entirely predictable. This leaves the government with a problem: it can't admit that the NHS's reliance on wankers from Denmark to give hope to childless couples has anything to do with the legislation they passed, but how are they ever going to persuade men to "come forward" while it's still in place?

I know how! They have mobile sperm banks visit old folks' homes, and collect samples from any male aged 90 or over who wants a bit of pocket money. These chaps clearly have genes built to stand the test of time, their sperm still works, and they won't be around in 20 years' time so what do they care if someone turns up on their doorstep looking for daddy?

Ah, if only all difficulties could be solved by such a complete lack of understanding of the moral issues.

[Questions arising from the writing of this post:

Why do all the BBC stories about sperm donation use the same illustration?

How can a sex test for unborn children be right about 25% of the time, when a coin is right 50% of the time?]

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Copyright © 2006 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).