To the editor:
In recent months, we have seen an increase of media coverage on artificial insemination by anonymous sperm donors. I am concerned about the tabloid mentality that is used to treat an issue that deserves more serious ethical consideration.One headline opportunity that the media missed was the negligence conviction of gynecologist Dr. Gerald Korn. His patient, a 46-year-old Vancouver woman, Ms. Kobe ter Neuzen, was awarded almost $900,000 on Nov. 20, 1991, to compensate her for the death sentence that she received under Dr. Korn's care. Instead of conceiving a child after years of donor inseminations, she (and another woman) contracted HIV.
The bisexual who sold his lethal sperm to Dr. Korn has disappeared through the veil of secrecy provided all those involved in this market of "reproductive technology." This trial should have had the same scale of coverage by the American press as the tragic case of Kimberly Bergalis.
On the other hand, Dr. Jacobson, a retired gynecologist now living in Provo, has been suffering under the cruel eye of the national media and will continue so throughout his upcoming trial.
The problem that I, and other offspring of donor insemination, see with his case is that his alleged frauds are not unique. Fraud is the inherent nature of donor insemination. Secrecy and deceit are basic tenets of this baby market and the "products," the children, are its lifetime victims.
The parents are counseled that we will never suspect the truth, never question the identity of our fathers, never suffer a bewildering identity crisis and never feel alienated from our parents.
As an adult offspring of donor insemination, I can attest to the painful effects that this unethical practice has had on me and many others that I know or know about.
Though I feel sympathy for the suffering of Dr. Jacobson and the couples he has tried to help, it cannot compare to what their children, and all children of donor insemination, are doomed to experience.
Salt Lake City