A 59-year old woman has been told that she cannot use her dead daughter’s frozen eggs to give birth to her own grandchild.
The High Court in London has ruled that the unnamed mother wants to use the eggs in a bid to seek fertility treatment in America.
Upon learning of her bid, the UK’s fertility regulators refused to grant her permission to take the eggs out of storage because the daughter had not given consent.
The entire case is surely one of its kind. Although the daughter consented for her eggs to be stored for use after her death, she did not fill in a separate form specifying their use after death.
In 2014, The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) decided there was insufficient evidence to show the daughter wanted the eggs used in the way her parents suggested after her death.
Mr Justice Ouseley, The High Court judge, said that “I must dismiss this claim, though I do so conscious of the additional distress which this will bring to the claimants, whose aim has been to honour their daughter’s dying wish for something of her to live on after her untimely death”.
Jenni Richards QC, appearing for the parents, referred to as Mr and Mrs M, asked the judge to rule the HFEA was wrong not to allow access to the eggs.
Richards argued it was a “disproportionate interference” with the family’s human rights.
After being diagnosed of bowel cancer at 23-years old, the daughter had her eggs frozen.
Her parents claim she asked her mother to “carry my babies” once she knew she had no hope of surviving the illness.
Mrs M said her daughter had told her, “I didn’t go through IVF to save my eggs for nothing. I want you and Dad to bring them up; they will be safe with you”.
Mrs M’s statement added, “She was clear that she wanted her genes to be carried forward after her death.
Catherine Callaghan, appearing for the HFEA, said its decision was neither irrational nor disproportionate and there was no clear evidence A had expressed the wish for her mother to carry her child in the event of her death.
TNT Health Yasin Chinembiri