Sperm Bank Standard
July 17th, 2017
“We can help you achieve your goals”, said the Canadian Standards Association (CSA). Which goals?
“I want to jerk off for money.”
Ah, said CSA, right this way.
In 2012, the CSA went in a new direction, they issued a standard called Tissues for Assisted Reproduction. The word “tissues,” in this case, means “sperm.” They issued a masturbation standard.
Specifically, this new standard “is intended to serve as a benchmark” for “retrieval” of “reproductive tissue” and its subsequent “processing, preservation,” etc.
This is quite a departure from their legal mandate. Quoting that mandate, the CSA exists as a Crown Agency to “coordinate [the] standardization of engineering materials [in relation to] engineering structures.”
Here at RestoreCSA, comparing CSA’s public statements with their conduct has long been a source of merriment. In this case, it’s especially comic. Or it would be, if we were inclined to get graphic. We’re not inclined. Should any reader be so inclined however, an online comparison of CSA’s “professional and principled” statements with how CSA’s masturbation standard is actually used should prove enlightening, or disturbing, depending on one’s persuasion.
For all that, any society with sperm donor clinics needs some form of regulatory framework for their operation. It’s just that CSA’s mandate has nothing to do with sperm samples. The reason VIA Rail doesn’t conduct Syrian diplomacy, or why the RCMP’s Musical Ride doesn’t make nuclear isotopes, is because these things are outside of their mandates. As CSA’s Government Mandate has nothing to do with regulating sperm donors, they shouldn’t be involved there.
Yet they’re deeply involved. The CSA even regulates the stimulation required to encourage an erection, stating that magazines, videos and “internet …use” is acceptable as reimbursable items for donors trying to produce. And they restate it; “A donor or surrogate shall only be reimbursed for an expenditure that is reasonable and related to the donation”. Use your imagination.
As usual with CSA, there’s also an element of coercion. The standard isn’t quite as voluntary as advertised. “In this standard, ‘shall’ is used to express a requirement, i.e., a provision that the user is obliged to satisfy in order to comply with the standard.”
We have covered this before. The standards CSA develops are referenced as “regulations,” parties voluntarily not participating are deemed materially non-compliant. These regulations are then incorporated by CSA into legislation and are enacted as laws. Thus, voluntary standards today become laws tomorrow. Hence, all the text about “expressing a requirement.”
The clinics where these standards are enforced pass requirements on to the donors. Some of the resultant contracts even mandate cumulative donor volumes. “Yes,” said one reviewer, “ you can be legally obligated to masturbate.”
Requirements like these impact safety. “The family of a Chinese medical student who apparently masturbated to death has been denied $800k in compensation from the sperm bank.” It seems that he died of a heart attack after “looking at a sexy magazine” while trying to produce at a clinic.
Technology may come to the rescue though, and CSA’s always keen to claim affinity with anything tech, for safety’s sake of course. One company designed an automated medical masturbator to aid the donor from stimulation through delivery. “All the gentleman has to do,” says the bumf, “is plug in the frequency, amplitude and temperature and off they go. It’s also fitted with a small screen for those feeling uninspired.” And it’s safe, of course.
For those fascinated by the concept, there’s a clean demo on YouTube. It’s twenty-two seconds of awkward.
The CSA’s masturbation standard does feature “aspects of safety for the potential and actual donors.” It’s just that CSA shouldn’t be doing it.
If an donor clinic, or a group of clinics, or a clinical association, or provincial or Federal medical associations, or any other interested body wants to develop these standards then they should be free to do so. A Government Agency responsible for “engineering materials [and] engineering structures” should not be. And they shouldn’t use taxpayer dollars to do what they shouldn’t be doing at all.