The London Sperm Bank – the biggest British sperm bank, is refusing sperm donations from dyslexic males.
It has distributed a brochure to potential sperm donors stating that they “should not be suffering from any attention deficit, hyperactivity, autism or Asperger’s syndrome or dyslexia” in order to “minimise the risk of transmitting genetic disorders or deformities”.“Fred Fisher, a 30 year-old Oxford graduate has had his sperm rejected and has accused the sperm bank of practising eugenics”.
The British health authorities that monitor sperm donation declared that “the refusal of sperm from dyslexic donors was contrary to its general policy and has ordered an enquiry”. Between 1 and 10% of the population suffer from dyslexia to varying degree.
In The Guardian, Steve O’Brien, one of the directors of the International Dyslexia Association denounced the approach adopted by the London Sperm Bank, “It’s eugenics. That sends out a message: there’s no room for dyslexic people in society. The suggestion that people with dyslexia should not donate sperm is damaging people’s confidence. This type of practice intimidates people. They won’t dare admit to being dyslexic or to needing help”.
Le Figaro reminds us that, “Medically assisted procreation with anonymous donors raise many ethical problems. Contrary to natural fertilisation, as soon as you can discretely choose a donor, the temptation to select the one with the best genetic characteristics is very strong.”
Le Figaro (30/12/2015) ; The Guardian (29/12/2015)