Harvesting Dead Girl's Eggs Raises Ethical Issues

by BiancaVal on February 8, 2014 - 12:02pm

         The article on “Harvesting dead girl’s eggs” by Mikaela Conely (ABC news medical unit) is about Chen Aida Ayash a young 17 year old girl from Israel who died in a car accident. After her death, Chen’s parents decide to remove and freeze Chen’s “eggs”, in other words extracting her “ova” so they can use her eggs to reproduce the children that she could of eventually gave birth to. The parents donated her organs and even went to court to request her daughters “eggs”. The parents wanted to have donated sperm to go along with the fertilized eggs in order to have a reproduction.  There is clearly two sides to this ethical issue, many people can be for it and think it is the right thing to do, and many people might be against it thinking that it is a very wrong thing  to do. Firstly, looking at the “for” side of this ethical issue, it may be the right thing to do because many family members “parents” in particular want to extract the ova and freeze the eggs and have the child because it may remind them of their own child who passed away, for them it is something beautiful. Another reason why it can be a good thing is because maybe the child/teenager who passed away may have wanted children in the future; therefore the parents want that reproduction to occur. Now, looking at the “against” side of this ethical issue and why many people might think it is wrong consists of many things. Out of many of the following reasons, the child who passed away maybe did not want any children in the future; therefore it leaves the decision of reproduction to that person only, not the parents.

      Secondly, if there is a reproduction after death from extracting the eggs, how will the newborn child feel growing up knowing it was conceived after the mother was passed away? This can really confuse the child and make things extremely complicated in the nearest future. Chen will not be around to take care of the child, and not to mention the father being a random parent to the child. It is a mystery when trying to find out if Chen really wanted her biological children to come alive after she passed away, and because the answer to this question will never be answered, this action should not be fulfilled, no one has a say in it but that person, and unfortunately that person is no longer there to have a say in anything.  My opinion to this ethical issue is that the parents do not have the right to extract her ova and eggs, freeze them, reproduce and have donated sperm. It is not their decision; it is the decision of Chen. It is completely absurd, even if Chen told them it is okay for them to do that, why would someone ever think of that and say” If I die take my eggs and reproduce”.

In my opinion it is not something that people would think of or “plan”. If the reproduction occurred, it is not fair for that child to grow up without their real mother, and finding out that they were born after the mother was dead, it is just very hard to digest. Overall, I don’t think this is legal, unless the person actually tells their parents that if something ever happened to them, they would like their parents to extract the ova and freeze the eggs; It is only okay if it is authorized by that one person, other than that no one has the right to decide, after all it is not their organs.

How would you feel growing up as a child finding out that you came to life after your mother was dead?




This is a crazy story, something I've never heard of before and never thought was even possible. I agree with you though, I think what the parents did is extremely creepy and wrong, assuming their daughter didn't authorize this, which I doubt she did, being only a teenager when she passed. Not many teenagers even begin to think about having babies at 17…. I feel like the parents selfishly used their daughter's body for their own emotional comfort and happiness. Did they really need grandchildren that bad to the point where they had to completely manipulate and sabotage their little girl's dead body? It doesn't make too much sense to me, their daughter's death was sudden and tragic, she deserves to be left in peace. And as I am currently writing summaries about mental health issues, I strongly believe that the baby who comes out of this craziness, is unfortunately going to have some issues once he or she finds out they were conceived in the most unnatural way possible.

I have to say that this was a very interesting topic and the tittle really caught my eye. This is a really bizarre case in which I think you clearly demonstrated the ethical issues that arose from this event. If I were the newborn of a harvested egg from my dead mother I think I would have a hard time questioning my existence also which is why I completely agree with you on that part. I really have to ask what you think was going through the minds of Chens parents when they purposed such a weird idea ?