Life after Death. Sperm, Property, and Hope

Charlotte Kroløkke, Stine Willum Adrian

Publikation: Konferencebidrag uden forlag/tidsskriftKonferenceabstrakt til konferenceForskningpeer review


A tragic workplace accident led in 2010 to the death of Mark Edwards. Subsequently, his wife Joycelyn Edwards requested for the New South Wales Superior Court´s permission to extract sperm posthumous from her husband. She got the permission and one year later, the Court decided to grant her access to the now frozen sperm. It became the legal property of Ms. Edwards.

In Denmark a debate on the use of posthumous cryopreserved sperm rose when the High Court of Eastern Denmark in 2010 stated that the legislation could not prevent a privately owned sperm bank in giving a widow to a deceased man acces to the sperm her husband had deposited. Following a vivid media debate has taken place while the legislation was processed in the Parliament changing the legislation by legalizing the use of sperm from a dead man.

Freezing technologies and extraction techniques has with the development of new reproductive technologies made posthumous baby-making a reality. In recent years a growing number of cases world wide has come to the attention of the public. In this presentation we wish to discuss the bioethical and legal debates that surround posthumous fertility and we center two different national contexts: The recent Danish legal and bioethical discussions on the use of dead men’s sperm, and similar debates in New South Wales that led to the Edwards court ruling.
Publikationsdato30 nov. 2012
StatusUdgivet - 30 nov. 2012
BegivenhedReproduction and gender at the crossroad - NTNU, Trondheim, Norge
Varighed: 29 nov. 201230 nov. 2012


KonferenceReproduction and gender at the crossroad


  • Posthumous use of sperm
  • Bioethics
  • Feminist theory