A judge has granted a mother's request to have someone harvest sperm from her dead son's body, so she can have the option of carrying out his wish to have children.
Nikolas Colton Evans, 21, died Sunday at a Brackenridge hospital after being punched and falling outside a bar in Austin, Texas, on March 27.
His mother, Marissa Evans, told the Austin American-Statesman newspaper that he wanted to have three sons someday and had even picked out their names: Hunter, Tod and Van.
"I want him to live on. I want to keep a piece of him," she told the newspaper.
Travis County Probate Judge Guy Herman ruled Monday in an emergency hearing requested by the mother, because of the urgency of collecting the sperm intact.
Court documents said the sperm had to be collected within 24 hours of Nikolas Evans being removed from life support unless the body was cooled to no more than 39.2 degrees.
Herman ordered the county medical examiner's office to continue storing the body at the proper temperature until the sperm could be collected.
Other organs and tissues were already going to be harvested from Evans' body, the judge noted, and there would be no other remedy for the mother if time expired.
Evans and her attorneys were trying on Tuesday to find a urologist or other medical professional willing to collect the sperm for a possible surrogate pregnancy in the future.
University of Texas law professor John Robertson, who specializes in bioethics, said state law gives parents control over a child's body for organ and tissue donations but its use for sperm "is very unclear."
"There are no strong precedents in favor of a parent being able to request post-mortem sperm retrieval," he said.
No arrests have been made in the assault on Nikolas Evans. Investigators said Evans hit his head on the ground after he was punched during an argument with a group of men.
Information from The Austin American-Statesman
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