4 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, January 30, 1995
hIe *irbipn Daligu
BENEATH THE PALIMPSEST
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Edited and managed by f
students at the
University of Michigan
Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editors
Conceiving life after death:
A whole new Perspective
Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of a majority of the Daily's editorial botird. All
other articles, letters, and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
Moderate and rational
Editorial page wants to speak your voice
Tn the Graduate Library, there sits a book
Iwiththe following line: "Liberal opinion
usually tends to be moderate and rational." In
the margin next to this statement is a note
jotted by some long-ago student: "He must
have written for the Daily."
Such is the legacy of the student newspa-
per on this campus. In its 104 years at the
University, the Daily has been many things to
many people. To some students, it has been a
voice for their opinions and questions, while
to others it has been "that Commie rag." To
administrators, it has been a persistent nui-
sance, encouraging resistance to restrictive
policies that might otherwise have slipped by
unchallenged. To local politicians, it has been
a reminder that student concerns are their
concerns also, that they cannot dismiss stu-
dents as politically ignorant and apathetic.
But to no reader, throughout the turbulent
years of its history, has the Daily ever pre-
sented itself as anything but liberal. Even
today, as Republicans assert their newfound
control of the U.S. Congress and many local
units of government, the Daily will not stray
from its long-standing ideals. To us, liberal-
ism is not the ideology of weighty bureau-
cracy. Rather, it is a set of principles that
ensures individual freedom. As we begin our
work as Editorial Page editors, we will con-
tinue to be a voice for economic justice, for
civil liberties, for equal rights and equal op-
portunities. But more than any of these things,
we will continue to be a voice for students.
Now as in the past, students are finding
their freedoms under attack from a Univer-
sity that apparently is more concerned with
maintaining order than allowing student ex-
pression. Among others, the Alcohol Policy,
the Social Events Policy and - most oppres-
sive of all-- the Statement of Student Rights
and Responsibilities demonstrate the
University's desire to manipulate students'
lives. The editorial page is one of the few
places where students regularly examine and
criticize this control.
Our focus on this page will continue to be
local issues. However, we cannot overlook
state and national affairs that touch students'
lives - and there are many. From state
appropriations to abortion restriction, from
health care to taxes, decisions outside of Ann
Arbor have meaningful consequences for
those who live here. We intend to explore
those consequences, offering a uniquely stu-
Yet the Daily has never claimed to repre-
sent the entire student body. Only individual
students can represent themselves, and we
will provide ways for you to do that. Each
week, we will list forums in which student
opinion is solicited, and each day you will
find an address of a person whose actions
impact students. Taking advantage of this
information is one way to voice your opin-
ion; participating in the Daily - whether as
an editorial writer or by writing letters - is
The Daily editorial page is the most pub-
lic and permanent forum in which students
can voice their concerns. Years from now,
when those who write for this page and all
who read it have long since left the Univer-
sity, these pages will remain, a record of
student opinion on the events and issues of
the day. And while times and political cur-
rents will surely change, we hope to be re-
membered as moderate and rational - a
brand of liberalism that will be our hallmark
in the year ahead.
- Julie Becker and James Nash
Editorial Page editors
In the brave new world of reproductive
technology, the orgasmic procreation
of progeny is the main objective. But what
about creating life after death? Like many
advances in medical technology, a new
technique has arrived almost unexpect-
edly leaving doctors, lawyers and society
with their pants down and without time to
sift through the potentially steamy legal
and ethical consequences. This newest
procedure, which borders on necrophilia,
allows women to procreate using sperm
from their deceased husbands.
Two uncanny cases took place in the
past two weeks in which sperm was ex-
tracted from recently deceased husbands,
for use in possible future artificial insemi-
nation of the widow.
In New York, a 29-year-old woman
whose husband of 2 1/2 years died had
sperm extracted from the corpse in hopes
of one day having the children they had
In a similar case last Saturday, a man
was killed in a car accident near Chicago.
At the request of the widow, a doctor
harvested sperm from the dead man's body;
they had been married only for a couple of
months and were childless.
Sperm remains viable up to 24 hours
after death. In the 15-minute sperm ex-
traction procedure, the live sperm is
squeezed out of the corpse and placed in
cold storage. In theory, the sperm can be
kept alive forever.
Standard fertilization procedures in-
volve mixing sperm and eggs in sterile
dishes and hoping penetration and fertili-
zation occur. The technique, called intra-
cytoplasmic sperm injection, developed
less than two years ago, involves injecting
the sperm cell directly into the egg. There
are no known cases where insemination
has been attempted with sperm obtained
from a corpse. Without this new proce-
dure, however, there would be little rea-
son to extract sperm posthumously as the
chances of fertilization using standard
methods are so slim, scientists say.
Defying death by keeping a husband's
sperm alive is simply mind-boggling. Le-
gal and moral questions must be answered.
In Louisiana, a woman was denied
Social Security benefits for a child she
conceived after her husband's death using
sperm he had donated while alive. Louisi-
ana law does not recognize children con-
ceived after a father's death.
Artificial insemination using the
husband's frozen semen raises probate
questions. Can the sperm be regarded as
"property" and thus remain part of the
estate that the wife inherits? Is the semen
an object of commercial transaction that
has become the property of the fertility
center? If insemination is accomplished
by posthumous use of the husband's
cryopreserved semen, what right does the
resulting child have to the father's estate;
and how will those rights be protected?
There are no reported cases in the United
States addressing the disposition of
cryopreserved semen remaining or recov-
ered after a man's death.
Again medical technology has created
an ethical dilemma that couldn't have ex-
isted before. When does a man die if the
sperm can be preserved?
A societal bias exists against single par-
enthood and in favor of fatherhood. Is it
fair to bring the child into existence?
Susanna Bahng, a third-year Inteflex
student, said, "I feel like it's ideal for the
child to have a mom and a dad in a family.
Growing up in this world is so hard as it is.
"In divorce, the parents didn't plan it
that way. Something just happens. But in
this case, it's very planned; that the child
would have no father. Everything is stacked
against the child without a living father."
Allowing life to persist after death
seems selfish and inhumane. There is noth-
ing inherently wrong with technology -
we use it for our own vested interests. We
place more emphasis on the fact-the child
has to "be our own," that it's a manifesta-
tion of our own genes, than on raising a
child for the love and joy it brings. At the
same time, with the death of the husband,
the widow can still live with the man she
loved through the child.
Whether the obstacle is impotency or
infertility, or even death of a spouse, medi-
cal technology has made it possible for
more couples to procreate. Before the use of
this technology becomes widespread and
sperm mongers flock to community
morgues, armed with surgical knives, steps
must be taken to prevent such an orgy; it is
time to consider the implications of this
- Cho is an LSA junior and a former
Daily news editor. Contact him with your
comments at email@example.com.
SHARP As TOAST
"The role of the
press was to
governed, not the
Justice Hugo Black,
writing for the majority
in NewYork Times v.
United States (1971)
Tonight's the night for code changes
T onight is an important night for Univer-
sity students. If they have any interest in
what they will and will not be able to do with
their lives, students will pay close attention
to the proceedings at tonight's code amend-
The code, formally known as the State-
ment of Student Rights and Responsibilities,
is the focus of heated debate between student
groups and the administration. Accumulat-
ing amidst the dissent, almost 200 amend-
ments may go before a student panel tonight.
Many of these amendments are semantic
quibbles, but others are vastly far-reaching.
Tonight students will finally have a say on
what the code dictates. Or will they?
This amendment process already has been
attempted three times. On each prior occa-
sion, a quorum -26 of the 50 members on
the student judiciary - failed to show. The
code states in Section 10B, "If less than 26
members are present, no action may be taken."
The students of this judicial board must at-
tend tonight, or - through their apathy -
sabotage this student-empowering process.
If enough panelists do attend, their ap-
proved amendments will be forwarded to the
Board of Regents for a second and final
review. Their participation in this hearing is
only one step in the process, but it is the most
important step for students. If 26 students
cannot even make one meeting, the adminis-
tration has a good excuse to cut student
involvement. Perhaps the new process will
involve 15 students. Or why not just five?
The lower the number, the less student influ-
ence. A fourth failure might even encourage
the regents to amend the code themselves,
thereby eliminating student involvement in
Friday's code hearing, the first public
proceeding under the statement, underscored
the deep flaws with the process. The hearing
was announced open only an hour before it
began - and only under the threat of a
lawsuit from the defendant. And once under
way, the hearing was conducted clumsily,
with vague pronouncements from Univer-
sity officials about "protecting the integrity"
of the hearing. The bungled code hearing is
yet another example of a process gone awry
- and one desperately in need of change.
The University cannot be trusted to amend
the code in students' interests; instead, stu-
dents themselves must get involved.
On previous nights, weather or short no-
tice has been an excuse. However, there are
no excuses for missing tonight's meeting. If
these students are absent tonight, it will only
be because they do not care - about their
fellow students, about themselves and about
the future of the University.
Students of the judicial board: Do not let
your peers down.
To the Daily:
The Daily's coverage of last
Sunday's bombing in Israel re-
veals the ignorance and preju-
dicial leanings of the Daily re-
porter and the general political
bias of the Daily as a whole.
Even the headline of the article,
"Despite bombing, campus
groups foster dialogue," is de-
ceiving. The two groups in-
cluded in this "dialogue," the
Palestinian Solidarity Commit-
tee (PSC) and the Progressive
Zionist Caucus (PZC), seem to
share a single opinion on the
matter of the bombings: the 18-
and 19-year old children who
were torn to shreds by the bombs
are of minor significance and a
reasonable price to pay for the
"crime" of Jewish self-defense.
This "crime" is based on the
sentiment that if others are in-
convenienced by the act of Jews
defending themselves, then the
Jews must lay back and be killed
rather than cause that inconve-
nience. In my vernacular such a
singular opinion is termed a
monologue and not a dialogue.
Ms. Khytam Dawood, a PSC
member, explained that the pur-
pose of the current collabora-
ter 29 Arabs were killed in
Hebron (not 48 as the Daily
exaggerated), the groups failed
to join the call for peace when
22 Jews were killed in the Tel
Aviv bus bombing in October.
For many anti-Semites the
Hebron killings represented a
unique opportunity to "prove"
the truth of Jewish schemes for
world domination that are de-
scribed in the "Protocols of the
Elders of Zion," an anti-Semitic
diatribe which is touted by
Hamas in its covenant. Hamas,
which calls for the systematic
murder of all Jews in Israel, is
now, unfortunately, supported
by a majority of Palestinians in
Gaza, Judea and Samaria.
Ms. Dawood further
trivialized the violence with her
ignorant claim that "There has
been violence going on for 26
years. Both sides condemn vio-
lence from either side." The vio-
lence has actually been going
on for centuries since the Arabs
conquered Israel in 636 and
started mass slaughter and de-
portation of Jews. Since that
time, many, many Arabs have
enjoyed extremely cordial rela-
tionships with Jews. Unfortu-
nately, those Arabs who insist
on hate have made life hellish
for Jews and peace-minded Ar-
abs alike. During World War II,
Haj Amin Al-Husseini, the
GlrrndlMufti of Ten1Qs.em Pven
Declaration of Principles even
the ruling PLO has failed to
form a consensus to condemn
terrorism or renounce their
"Phased Plan," in which they
state that a temporary peace
agreement may be reached with
Israel in a deceptive maneuver
with the ultimate intention of
conquering Israel as a whole.
Peace is intended to save
lives and should be the goal of
every moral-minded person on
the face of this planet. How-
ever, any "peace" that costs
more lives than it saves is fun-
damentally flawed and must be
murder is not a price of true
peace and should not be por-
trayed as such by the Daily.
Aryeh M. Caroline
To the Daily:
. At the risk of beating a long-
dead horse (though this certainly
would set no precedent on this
page), I would like to respond to
the letter from Mr. William A.
Donohue regarding Jim Lasser's
infamous "Gingrich and Priests"
cartoon ("Cartoon offends
Catholics," 1/26/95). As presi-
Ac.,t o tp.f n~ Xthrnliir TI ai. rf
Mr. Donohue took offense at
the cartoon, whose sole purpose
he supposes to have been to
While many Catholics have
indeed expressed their offense .
at the cartoon, any truly "hon-
est" readers would see that part
of the reason that it is so dis-
comforting (and to some, amus-
ing or cutting), is that it reflects
both the ill-considered nature
of Gingrich's proposal and cer-
tain very real and very unpleas-
ant realities about the Catholic
church - the increasingly fre-
quent allegations of sexual abuse
of children by priests.
As the head of a "civil rights"
organization, surely Mr.
Donohue will concede that the
cartoonist who so offended him
was, in fact, exercising his First
Amendment right to free
speech? And perhaps even that*
bad taste does not amount to
bigotry? Or if it does, by Mr.
Donohue's reasoning, we must
conclude that the head of his
very own church, the Pope, is
also a bigot. After all, it was just
last week that the Pope's rather
insensitive comments about
Buddhism threatened to lead to
mass unrest during His Holi-
ness' visit to Sri Lanka.
Let the one who is without
sin among you cast the first
How TO CONTACT THEM
University President James J. Duderstadt
Office of the President
2074 Fleming Administration Building