Astonishingly, a woman in the UK could be set to give birth to her own grandchild. The lady has won an appeal against a High Court decision, which previously decided against the use of her dead daughter’s eggs, via IVF treatment.
Referred to as Mrs M, the 60 year old woman explained her daughter made it clear that she wished for her to carry and give birth to her child. Mrs M’s daughters request resulted because she was diagnosed with bowel cancer, in which she had a short battle with, before sadly passing away at the young age of 28. However, in 2014 the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) denied Mrs M permission to obtain the eggs and take them to a fertility clinic in the US, where Mrs M planned to become impregnated using donor sperm.
Even though the HFEA said that they sympathise with Mrs M, they maintain their decision that they cannot approve the release of the eggs from storage. This is because Mrs M’s daughter, who is simply referred to as A, did not give full written consent before passing away. Though this decision was upheld by the High Court only last year, Mrs M and her husband decided to take the case to the Court of Appeals, where judges have now ruled in their favour.
Jenni Richards, who is representing Mrs M, told the court that “all available evidence” indicates that, A, wanted her mother “to have her child after death,” adding that if the original decision had not be overturned, these eggs would “simply be allowed to perish.”
The HFEA introduced new guidelines in 1998, stipulating that both the donors and recipients must sign agreements with the fertility clinic. By consenting to these, both parties are providing permission for the procedure to go ahead, whilst understanding their rights throughout the process. Due to this, the organisation maintains the belief that they made the correct decision by initially denying Mrs M access to her dead daughters eggs, stating “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.”
However, the organisation does appear willing to accept the new ruling, claiming the Court of Appeals judgement “reaffirms the need for informed consent, but concludes that there was sufficient evidence of Mr and Mrs M’s daughter’s wishes.”