Judge OKs collecting of dead son's sperm
Mother of man who died after Sixth Street attack wants to try to have grandchildren.
By Tony Plohetski
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
The mother of a 21-year-old assault victim who died of his injuries received permission Tuesday for his sperm to be collected post-mortem, giving her the chance to have a grandchild through a surrogate mother.
Travis County Probate Judge Guy Herman ordered the medical examiner's office to maintain the body of Nikolas Colton Evans until his sperm can be taken.
Herman also said officials at the office must provide access so an expert can take the specimen.
Herman issued the orders after an emergency hearing at the request of Marissa Evans, whose son died Sunday after being punched and falling during a March 27 assault on East Sixth Street.
"I want him to live on," Evans said. "I want to keep a piece of him."
She said that her son had frequently talked about his desire to have three sons and had chosen their names: Hunter, Tod and Van.
Marissa Evans and her attorneys were trying Tuesday to find a urologist or other medical expert willing to collect the sperm. According to medical experts and published reports, whether such sperm is useful often depends on how quickly it is collected after death.
University of Texas law professor John Robertson, who specializes in bioethics, said that state law gives parents control over a child's body for donation of organs and tissues but that "this use is very unclear."
"There are no strong precedents in favor of a parent being able to request post-mortem sperm retrieval," he said.