The Case of Dr. Cecil Jacobson
A physician was recently convicted of using his own sperm for artificially inseminating
his patients. He told the court that he didn’t see anything wrong with this practice
because these women came to him wanting to have a child. However, his patients
were unaware that he was using his own sperm for the procedure. Some of his office
staff became suspicious of the physician’s methods, but failed to report their suspicions
immediately. Many children were conceived as a result of this physician’s sperm
having been implanted into the mothers.
1. Is this a legal, ethical, or bioethical issue? Explain your answer.
It is a legal, ethical, and bioethical issue.
2. Was the office staff at fault?
3. What is the potential long-term effect for this physician’s patients and members
of the surrounding community?
4. What should happen to this physician?