Brain-dead man's family proposes storing his sperm, AIIMS declines
When a team of AIIMS doctors approached a 22-year-old brain-dead man's family requesting them to donate his organs, they were met with a unique proposition. The family was willing to donate his organs, but insisted to make arrangements to preserve his sperm for conception in future. The doctors had to decline, as there are no set guidelines on sperm retrieval from a brain-dead man.
Consulted several departments for three days, to no avail: Doctors
Notably, the team of doctors, who were presented with the proposal, insisted that they didn't reject the sperm-bank proposal right away. But when no solution came up despite consulting several departments for three days, they had no other option. In India, the guidelines fixed by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) do not cover anything on sperm-banking in the case of brain-dead patients.
No set guidelines in India; globally wife's consent required
An AIIMS professor said even globally the norm in such cases is to have the wife's consent. In this case, "He was unmarried. So, we can't take a call until there are specific guidelines," said Deepak Agrawal, Professor, neurosurgery department, AIIMS.
"Why not allowed? We weren't asking for anything illegal"
Meanwhile, the family of the now-deceased man is unhappy with the rejection. "Why couldn't they take his sperm? We weren't asking for anything illegal," said one of his sisters. She added that online research revealed that sperm can be stored and he "was a young man having good-quality sperm that we could have used later." "This way we'd have ensured he stayed with us."
Declared brain dead six days after road accident
The deceased, a resident of North-West Delhi, was admitted in AIIMS on August 19, following a road accident in which he suffered serious head injuries. Declared brain dead on August 25, he expired two days back. He was the youngest of nine siblings, all sisters.