Mercatornet: The Dark Past of Anonymous Sperm Donation

Posted By on February 2, 2016

ICSI sperm injection into oocyte Courtesy: RWJMS IVF Laboratory

ICSI sperm injection into oocyte Courtesy: RWJMS IVF Laboratory

The use of assisted reproductive technology (ART) is so common nowadays that it’s easy to forget how quickly social attitudes have changed. The Atlantic recently published a feature about the early days of artificial reproductive technology under the headline “The First Artificial Insemination Was an Ethical Nightmare: The 19th-century procedure involved lies, a secrecy pledge, and sperm from a surprise donor”.

The implication is that that contemporary ART is far more ethical than it was in the bad old days. Is that true — or has it just been dusted off and given a fresh coat of paint?

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