Is it ethical to donate sperm?

Is it ethical to donate sperm?

Ethan Greenhart

Topics Politics

Dear Ethan,

I’m a 19-year-old student at Oxford, and a HUGE fan of your column! This week I heard that Britain is suffering a chronic shortage of sperm donors, and I’d really like to help out. (I also need the money!) Please tell me, is it ethical to donate sperm?

Harry St Clair

Dear Harry,

You’re asking me where you should spill your seed?! You make me feel like a Catholic priest in a confessional box! Of course I would never issue moral or religious decrees telling people how to live their lives, like those child-abusers-in-black do when they warn their browbeaten flocks to change their behaviour and repent for their sins or else face damnation on Judgement Day. Priests are such disgusting hypocrites.

I will, however, give you some friendly advice: Donating sperm is absolutely unethical and if you do it you will be contributing to the further destruction of the planet.

If you ask me, the government’s move five years ago to end anonymity for sperm donors was one of the best decisions it has taken. Yes, it has caused a massive shortage of viable sperm (after all, what kind of carefree, hungover 20-year-old physics student who ejaculates into a cup for £20 wants to have a lumbering teenager rapping on his door 18 years later and saying ‘DAD?! Is that you?!’), but this shortage has provided an important lesson for us all: No one has the RIGHT to have kids, but we all have a RESPONSIBILITY to guard against the overpopulation of the planet. The dwindling stocks in the fridges of Britain’s sperm banks should be welcomed by all right-minded, ethical environmentalists.

The removal of anonymity forces sperm donors to think before they wank. You are creating a life, young man! Another mouth to feed; another drain on unrenewable resources; another being who will go on to emit around 558 tonnes of carbon in his or her lifetime – and more if he or she strays from the ethical path and becomes a regular holidaymaker, a clinically obese consumer, a small businessman or some other class of selfish beast. What better way to show men the consequences of their sperm donation (or moneyed masturbation, as I like to call it) than to make them run the risk of coming face-to-face with the 6ft tall, probably quite fat (rotten) fruit of their loins at a future date? Then you will know what you have done to our already fragile and overcrowded planet.

Those old hypocritical priests tell their flock that it is a sin to cast your seed into tissues or crumpled bedsheets when it could be used to make a new life. I take precisely the opposite view – it is far better for the young and the lonely to toss themselves ANYWHERE but into a test-tube from which their outpourings could be used to fertilise a woman and cause the birth of another human/death of the planet. Priests say God will punish those who masturbate; I say Gaia will punish those who masturbate for the purposes of impregnating a stranger.

I’ve had HUGE rows with Sheba about this. The other night, after we tucked our own little’uns into bed, she said to me over a glass of chilled red: ‘What about all those couples who cannot conceive naturally? They need the help of sperm donors.’ I responded: ‘Sheba, you know my position on this – if something ain’t natural, it ain’t right.’ That’s my true belief, Harry, harsh as it may sound: maybe infertility is Gaia’s way of telling us to stop breeding and poisoning the planet with brats who demand constant feeding and clothing and sensory stimulation. I even told Sheba that if one of us had been infertile then I would have accepted it as a blessing from Gaia, a sign that we are amongst the chosen few who must not breed as a lesson to others.

I slept on the sofa that night…. The truth hurts, and a prophet, of course, is always treated badly in his own home. Even the priests know that.

What’s more, Harry, how do we know WHO is donating sperm and whether they are the kind of people who should be reproducing? Are checks carried out on donors’ intelligence, their ethical sensitivities, their views on the planet? It is surely obvious to anyone with a brain cell that greed, avarice and disregard for the planet are genetically inherited traits. How else do we explain the fact that more often than not it is generations in the same family who are most shockingly cavalier in their attitudes to Mother Earth? In my local area – well, a few streets back, behind the tall trees where the council estates lurk – there are families where the grandparents, parents and children all own very vicious-looking dogs, smoke cigarettes (and worse), overconsume alcohol, eat junk food, and think nothing of dropping litter and dog shit all around town.

This behaviour is clearly a result of both genetic defects and environmental factors – nature and nurture. Do we really want people like that donating sperm and giving rise to another uncaring generation? If we MUST have sperm donation, then it should be closely regulated and monitored. I would suggest that the police, the health authorities and environmentalist organisations such as Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth should get to vet all potential sperm donors. I am free to carry out this kind of work, if anyone is interested. My email address is below.

Harry, there are many other ways you can help childless families without unleashing yet more children. Why not join the Pets for People campaign, which allocates dogs and cats to lonely individuals? Or why not help to encourage the childless to ‘do a Madonna’ and adopt an already-born baby from overseas (though please bear in mind my earlier warnings about the dangers of adoptions from afar)? Whatever you do, Harry, remember it is better to sprinkle your seed on to scorched earth than into a disinfected cup in a cold, God-playing laboratory.

Ethan Greenhart is here to answer all your questions about ethical living in the twenty-first century. Email him at {encode=”” title=””}. Read his earlier columns here.

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Topics Politics


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