This is a rare area of medical care in which the consent of the patient is not
sufficient. The consent of the husband should be obtained before a married
woman is impregnated by artificial insemination. Legal questions can arise
when a married woman is artificially inseminated with donor sperm. In most
states, this child is legally defined as legitimate to the husband. This
presumption can be defeated if the physician fails to follow the statutory
requirements. If the statute requires the permission of husband and wife,
failing to obtain the husband’s permission could allow him to deny paternity.
Unconsented artificial insemination can have the same legal consequences as
adultery. Although the courts might view this as strictly between the husband
and wife, they might honor a suit against the physician for any mental pain
and suffering the unconsented insemination caused the husband.