"The Ethicist" is Randy Cohen's long-running advice column in the New York Times. Each week, Gabriel Delahaye's "The Unethicist" will answer the same questions as "The Ethicist," with obvious differences.
Fittingly, in this last Unethicist installment of 2007, people are advised to disregard the well-being of their families and/or murder their children. You're welcome. See you next year.
My fiancé received a letter at his office from a woman claiming to be the product of his sperm donation nearly 20 years ago. Her stated intention was to receive medical information, something he would willingly provide, but she strongly implied that she desired more, and he does not wish further contact. Was it ethical of her to obtain his name and business address? Must he reply? — name withheld, Portland, Ore.
Well congratulations to you! A fiancé? You're living the dream! And wasting no time meddling all up in his business, with your letters to advice columns on his behalf and whatnot. It's going to be a long and beautiful life of shared joys, shared miseries, and apparently shared secret children.
For the answer to your question, I would like to refer you to my soon to be released self-help book, Whoops, You're Marrying a Former Sperm Donor. It takes a certain person to cum into a cup for 25 dollars, a certain person that you have accidentally fallen in love with and/or desperately need to fill the socially imposed hollow in your soul. And while it's been a long time since those heady college days of siring children for beer money, you'd be surprised how little some people's mentality changes. Let's just say that today's plaintive letter requesting medical information from the unknown progeny of former financial desperation is tomorrow's phone call from a Cambodian prison because your husband didn't actually go to Houston for a sales conference, unless by go to Houston for a sales conference you mean go to Phnom Penh to indulge in the unspoken delights of modern sex tourism.
Of course, the answer to your concerns is in the very simple axiom that your FIANCÉ (congratulations again, btw) brought her into this world and he can take her out of it. I mean, how dare this creature deign to contact your FIANCÉ (God, it's exciting, isn't it? Just think, you're going to be married!) just because he provided half of her genetic make-up? Sounds like someone needs to provide half of her genetic destruction. Murder her. Next question please.
My husband's company provides him with a business-class airplane ticket for trips to China. His 70-year-old father is joining him on his next business trip.
Due to cost (and the assumption that my husband would most likely offer his seat), he plans to purchase an economy ticket for the flight. Would it be wrong for my husband to give his father his business-class seat? — Tracey Mcardle, Edinburgh
Do none of you women have your own problems and/or are none of your husbands/FIANCÉs capable of asking their own questions?
So, just to clarify, your husband's father is buying an economy ticket for the flight on the assumption that he'll be offered his son's business-class seat anyway? Nice. I don't really have space to deal with shitty fathers, this is just a column, and a column on a blog at that. Peoples' eyes get tired reading on a computer or something. So what is the most economical way I can say this...OK, how about FUCK THAT GUY.
Setting the trip aside, your husband should take this as a cue for how to treat his father. For example, in the inevitable illness that will befall his father sooner rather than later he could not visit him in the hospital on the assumption that his father is already dead. Basically, your husband should just never do anything for his father on the assumption that his father is already dead.