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English Woman in Legal Battle to Use Sperm of Critically Ill Partner

Mrs Justice Carr discharged an emergency order to harvest sperm, ruling that it was legally flawed. The matter is listed for trial in February. [1]

Mrs Justice Carr discharged an emergency order to harvest sperm, ruling that it was legally flawed. The matter is listed for trial in February.

The High Court in England is to hear a case next month where a woman has applied to store the sperm of her critically ill partner.

The man, identified as ‘P’ suffered 4 heart attacks and remains on life support machines. The woman in the case, known as ‘AB’, maintains that P would have given his consent for the sperm to be harvested, had he known he would be in his current state.

But the Human Embryology and Fertilisation Authority (HFEA), the regulator in the UK that monitors the storage of human eggs, sperm and embryos states that it has no power to dictate that the hospital should store P’s sperm.

Mrs Justice Carr discharged an order that AB obtained at an emergency hearing on Christmas Eve permitting the hospital to undertake the harvesting procedure, pending the outcome of her judicial review application of the HFEA’s decision.

Lawyers representing AB argued that the Christmas Eve order was required urgently as P was subject to a “do not resuscitate” direction and might die before a substantive hearing could be heard. Discharging the order, Mrs Justice Carr ruled that the order was legally flawed.

The case is due to be heard in the Court of Protection, a division of the High Court that deals with cases where individuals lack capacity.