U.K. Largest Sperm Bank Sends Away Dyslexic Sperm Donor
January 03, 2016 02:58 PM EST
The largest sperm bank in Britain is facing eugenics accusation after refusing to accept donation from dyslexic donors to 'minimize genetic diseases or malformations' in new born children. The sperm bank located in London published a handout that lists conditions that will not be accepted for donations. Amongst other conditions, it includes ADD, autism and Asperger's. After being tipped off the Guardian, The Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority, body that regulates the sperm banks, looked into the practices followed by these institutions. It is illegal to discriminate against people who are suffering from these conditions.
The regulator in a statement said "The HFEA has never required or endorsed prohibiting people with dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADD, ADHD and other disorders from becoming sperm donors. The clinic's HFEA inspector is clarifying our requirements for selecting donors with the center, and is reviewing all the exemptions cited in the center's materials, to ensure that all future donors are treated fairly and in accordance with the law." This new case has brought focus on a long-standing debate about whether or not dyslexia should be considered a disability. There are educational and health experts that even call dyslexia an advantage because it makes lateral thinking and spatial reasoning possible. Some of the most well known dyslexic personalities includes Steve Jobs, Ruby Wax, Sir Richard Branson and and Benjamin Zephaniah, as reported by The Telegraph.
A 30-year-old software engineer from Oxford, Fred Fisher, said that the London Sperm bank refused to accept his sperm in November. "I was really taken aback to see dyslexia listed as a neurological disease," he told the Guardian. "I'd never thought they would turn people way for having dyslexia, especially given how important we are told science and entrepreneurship are these days. I told them this was eugenics, but it's not even good eugenics. Would they turn away Richard Branson or Albert Einstein? We need innovative people who think differently in the world. Dyslexic people make a great contribution to our society. "I would like the government and HFEA to be much clearer about ruling out this practice. And you could say the same for dyspraxia, ADD and ADHD."