Memorial Day 2011: 54% of the Public Would Consider Freezing Sperm or Ova for Posthumous Use

54 percent of the Jewish public in Israel would positively consider freezing sperm or eggs for posthumous use, if they were in a life-threatening situation, according to a survey conducted for New Family Organization ahead of Memorial Day for Israeli Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism. The survey, conducted by Geocartography Institute among a representative sample of 500 people, reveals that a majority of the Jewish public in Israel has a clear desire for continuity after death. Israel is the only country in the world with a Biological Will Bank, which is operated by New Family Organization.

A Biological Will is a legal document in which a person instructs others to use his or her reproductive cells to conceive a child after his death. ‘The survey reveals that a revolutionary trend is developing in Israeli society,’ says Advocate Irit Rosenblum, founder and executive director of New Family Organization. Until I developed the Biological Will, the question of freezing sperm or ova was not a part of the decision-making process of the Israeli public. Once the problem was identified, the dam broke and a solution was found to a problem considered by a majority of the public in Israel.’

Rosenblum added that ‘the fact that over half of the public would positively consider freezing their sperm or ova for posthumous use indicates a revolutionary trend and a breakthrough in Israeli society in particular and the world in general. This new trend indicates that the right to family does not end with death but continues on. This is a liberal and innovative approach that allows family members to carry out their loved one’s will.’

The survey data reveals that more women support the posthumous use of reproductive material than men. 60 % of the secular public, 59% of young people aged 18-34, 57 % of those with a higher academic education, and 31 % of the ultra-Orthodox religious public expressed willingness to store their genetic material in life-threatening situations.

On April 10, 2011, New Family Organization won a precedent-setting court ruling approving the Biological Will of a graduate of an Israeli military combat unit. In November 2008, days before his death, Baruch Posniansky, (Z”L), made a written Biological Will to his parents in which he requested that they use the sperm he stored at a sperm bank to conceive a child after his death. He further instructed his parents to find a woman that would bear and raise the child as her own. The Biological Will of Baruch Posniansky, (Z”L) will be the world’s first to be carried out.

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