Woman wins bid to use dead daughter’s eggs
30 June 2016
- From the section Health
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A woman who wants to use her dead daughter’s frozen eggs to give birth to her own grandchild has won a Court of Appeal battle.
The 60-year-old woman was appealing against the UK regulator’s refusal to allow her to take her only child’s eggs to a US clinic.
Her daughter, who died in 2011, was said to have asked her mother to carry her babies.
The mother lost a High Court case last year.
She was subsequently granted permission to challenge the decision at the Court of Appeal in London, before a panel of three judges.
No written consent
The UK fertility regulator, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), said, in 2014, that the daughter’s eggs could not be released from storage in London because she had not given her full written consent before she had died from bowel cancer at the age of 28.
But, in the latest legal proceedings, lawyers acting for the mother told the judges she wanted to fulfil her daughter’s wishes to carry a child created from her frozen eggs and “raise that child”.
The mother’s wish is to take the eggs to a clinic in New York to be used with donor sperm.
Jenni Richards QC said that if the judges did not overturn the High Court’s ruling, the “inevitable” consequence would be that the eggs “will simply be allowed to perish”.
Ms Richards argued that there was “clear evidence” of what the daughter, known only as ‘A’, wanted to happen to her eggs after she died, and that “all available evidence” showed she wanted her mother “to have her child after death”.
The appeal was opposed by the HFEA, which said it had great sympathy for the parents of the dead daughter, known only as Mr and Mrs M.
The HFEA said: “The law requires us to consider whether there is sufficient evidence of informed consent. After looking at the matter in great detail we decided that there wasn’t, a decision which was supported by the High Court last September.
“Today’s judgment by the Court of Appeal reaffirms the need for informed consent but concludes that there is sufficient evidence of Mr and Mrs M’s daughter’s true wishes.”
The HFEA said it would now reconsider the case as soon as possible.
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