Artificial insemination

Ohad Ben-Yakov, a twenty-seven-year-old Israeli man, was installing an air conditioner at the part-time job he worked to pay for university when there was an accident. It left him in a coma for two weeks, and ultimately caused his death. While he was comatose, his parents had his sperm extracted. Now that he's died, they're trying to get permission to use his sperm to create a child

And it looks like they just might succeed, pending the decision of the Israeli Attorney General. If the case is decided in their favor, it would be the latest addition to an interesting legal precedent. Nowhere had Ohad written down or indicated a desire to have children, at least not legally. However, the mother of an Israeli soldier killed in 2001 successfully had her son's sperm extracted (which can be done for up to three days after death), and won the right to attempt to create a child, although attempts at in vitro fertilization with a surrogate have been unsuccessful. 

Israel is perhaps the world's most boundary-pushing nation when it comes to reproductive technology. They have the best fertility doctors in the world — on average, they're seven or eight times more successful at in vitro fertilization than American doctors. Israeli health insurance covers IVF and they were the first nation to legalize surrogate-mother agreements. And apparently, they're on the verge of recognizing a legal right to grandparenthood. 

Judaism has always encouraged followers to "be fruitful," and twentieth-century tragedies like the Holocaust have only fostered a pro-natalist Israeli viewpoint. And a grieving couple's desire to have a grandchild after the untimely death of their son seems, on the one hand, understandable. And, on the other, taboo — the impulse against creating a "replacement child" for a lost son seems to be the same that makes us uncomfortable with human cloning. 

Commentarium (30 Comments)

Mar 28 11 - 2:57pm

You'd be interested in fertility too if you were a tiny nation surrounded by larger enemies.

Mar 28 11 - 5:14pm
some bitchcunt

I am struck by your ability to boil this one down into something that lacks relevance to the original post.

Mar 28 11 - 6:44pm

You're lucky I didn't try to work Obama's birth certificate into it.

Mar 28 11 - 6:49pm

Because that would require your to let all your brain matter fall out of your ear through a straw.

Mar 29 11 - 1:52am
the game

youre not supposed to stick a q-tip all the way inside your ear. only around the outside. check the box. true fax.

Mar 28 11 - 4:28pm


Mar 28 11 - 6:57pm

The card says "moops"

Mar 28 11 - 7:14pm

but rest assured this wouldn't have happened under Bush's watch

Mar 29 11 - 12:24pm
bob josh

Since he was the Israeli president... you're an idiot.

Mar 28 11 - 7:22pm

Good luck to the Israelites trying to repopulate their nation with a Kenyan who won't show his birth certificate in the White House.

Mar 28 11 - 7:32pm

No, but it was shown outside of the White House. Just not the long form. Which by the way, many Americans don't have.

Mar 29 11 - 2:10am

the joke


your head

Mar 28 11 - 7:38pm

Who thinks to extract the sperm of their son when he's on his deathbed?
Is there any other reason for doing that than IVF?

And Obama did show his birth certificate, you idiots. He showed it in 2008, sorry it wasn't from Kenya , you racists. Oh and f*ck Bush. He set precidents that have forced Obama into corners all throughout his presidency. Not that it's been that impressive anyway. He can't even get the DEA to do what he tells them to. So mneh :P

Mar 28 11 - 9:01pm

No Katie, F*ck You, obama's grandmother said she saw him born in Kenya, and no, we haven't seen a REAL birth certificate.

Mar 28 11 - 9:58pm

I don't believe that Obama's grandmother said that for a second. Show me proof--a quotation, something official, anything. This sounds exactly like the kind of ridiculous drivel that would come out of a conservative pundit's mouth.

Mar 28 11 - 10:07pm

Let's just agree that Keith is an idiot.

Mar 29 11 - 6:06am
J Beck

The Connecticut Social Security number is kind of damning, IMO...

Mar 28 11 - 8:28pm

dude, I fail to see how creating a grandchild is like making a replacement child. If anything the grandparents only want a piece of their son to live on.
The article was really...lacking in infomation. Like whether this man had a wife. Whom I think should have the first say in this, since the man didn't leave behind a will expressing his wishes on the matter. Now if he didn't have a wife then by all means what does it hurt to help a couple of parents ease their grief. Its not hurting anyone else. If anything creating something beautiful out of this horrible accident should be considered a blessing.

Mar 28 11 - 10:17pm

Oooo no some a-hole named keith took a comment I made about someone else extremely personally. Bush was by far the worst president in US history. He was selfish and moronic, not to mention a war criminal. If you want to believe he was always good, just remember, he abandoned his civic duty to get drunk and do cocaine.

Concerning this article, I think they should adhere to their religious beliefs, and if that makes them happy grandparents, good for them. Not what I would've done, but it's not my place to judge.

Mar 28 11 - 10:22pm

Oh and about that bs story his grandmother told, if she told it at all, it was about his half brother who IS Kenyan.

And I agree with the other ladies, keith, you ARE an idiot. There is no proof she told that story, and there are records of Obama's birth in Hawaii. Just own up to your own racism so we can all move past that petty arguement of his birthplace.

Mar 29 11 - 6:37pm

Katie grow up and get a life. Obama hates all of us even if he is paying you to say dumb stuff.

Mar 29 11 - 12:25am

Obama has been in office for over two years and the country just keeps going down the shitter. Blame Bush!

Mar 29 11 - 1:35am

At alison- it most likely isn't missing info. I'd they didn't mention a wife it wasn't important because it didn't have one.
Also it may hurt th child. The last to be considered in creating or destroying an embryo.
Also how does everything always become about the USA? That's not aimed at you. It's rhetorical.

Mar 29 11 - 1:56am

when the kid is older, i would like to see him ask about what happened to his dad

Mar 29 11 - 6:12am
J Beck

Well, there goes Darwin's Law...

Mar 29 11 - 7:23am

At J Beck- No shit. The last possible refuge for Darwin's Law is about to be demolished. Now stupidity can be hereditary even AFTER death. Wonderful.

At almost everyone else- Why the hell are you discussing USA and politics in THIS article's comments? Are you that bitter about how shit worked out? Get a fucking life.

Mar 29 11 - 8:36am
Grady LaLa

Leave it up to those people to be obsessed with continuing their line.

And, of course, by those people, I mean grandparents. ;)

Mar 29 11 - 8:51am

Y'all are funny. Some American president cause this Israeli dude to drop an air conditioner on himself? Wow. I knew the US was powerful, but that's amazing.

Mar 29 11 - 11:42am
Grady LaLa

Damn, people are so easily trolled on here!

Mar 29 11 - 1:53pm
Double Dang!

Maybe Obama is the mother. Or Bush. It must be one or the other. All blame in the universe goes to one or the other.