The Department of Health (DOH) has refused to make an exception for a newlywed who begged to be allowed to harvest sperm from her dead husband's body.
Army Captain Sun Chi-hsiang (孫吉祥) died in a hospital on Wednesday after being injured when the armored vehicle he was driving suddenly accelerated and crashed.
Since Sun was an only son and a newlywed, his parents and wife urged doctors to harvest his sperm so that his wife could try to have a baby through in-vitro fertilization.
The doctors told the widow, Li Hsin-yu (
The department said that it was not willing to set a precedent by making an exception for Li.
Su Shu-chen (
"Since Sun Chi-hsiang has died, there are no provisions in the law that allow us to grant such a request," she said.
Su said that even if doctors had been able to legally retrieve some sperm for Li, in-vitro fertilization for her would be illegal.
Dr. Lee Mao-sheng (
After 24 hours, the success rate will drop by 10 percent, he said, and after 48 hours, the procedure is no longer practical.