Itís not what you think Ė at least I think the main motive for the class-action lawsuit filed this week in British Columbia, Canada, is to allow the offspring of anonymous sperm, egg or embryo donors access to their medical histories. A secondary motive might be to gain a sense of identity by finding out who their real fathers are.
The lawsuit is spear-headed by Canadian Olivia Pratten, a long time activist against anonymous sperm donation. This exemplifies just one of the bioethics issues surrounding biotechnological intervention in the process of conception. For an interesting read on the topic, check out the chapter on reproductive assistance in Moira Gunnís book Biotech Nation. Prattenís lawsuit, against the BC attorney general and the province's College of Physicians and Surgeons, claims that the children of artificial insemination are discriminated against because the records of their biological parents can be destroyed in as little as 6 years after contact with the recipient ceases, and because doctors do not have to divulge any information, even medical history.
Bains, C. BC Court Issues Injunction in Class-Action Over Sperm, Egg Donor Births. The Canadian Press, Tuesday October 28, 2008.