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This story from the IHT is something like a bio-literal inversion of the situation at the academic conference I’m currently attending. Does that make sense?

A shortage of sperm donors in Britain has led to long waits at clinics and even caused some clinics to stop offering donor sperm, fertility specialists are reporting, and they are calling for nationwide changes to increase the supply.


Another solution might be to increase the number of pregnancies that each donor is permitted to produce. The legal limit is 10, set to minimize the chances of what is called inadvertent consanguinity — half siblings, unaware they had the same donor father, together having children, who would be at risk for genetic diseases caused by inbreeding.

But the BMJ editorial argues that the limit of 10 is arbitrary, with no scientific evidence to support it, and should be reconsidered. The Netherlands, with a smaller population than Britain, allows 25. In the United States, clinics make their own rules about how many children one donor may father, with some permitting 20 or more.

All very Totem and Taboo here, all very who-gets-to-have-dinner-with-dad-tonight. Not my supervisor, though, yes, lots of influence on me as well, though thankfully in a slightly more roundabout and idiosyncratic way than many of those with the blood link. But 2/3 of the kids of all ages here were conceived, as it were, in the disorienting hallways and hyperspace elevator alcoves of the Bonaventure Hotel, if you follow my drift.

Written by adswithoutproducts

November 13, 2008 at 1:53 pm

Posted in academia

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