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Woman loses IVF battle


Kahnee

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From PA:

 

A British woman today lost her last desperate legal battle for the right to use her frozen IVF embryos to have a baby.

Natallie Evans had endured defeats in the British courts and faced an order to destroy the embryos, because her ex-fiance withdrew his consent to use them.

With time running out for the use of her stored embryos, she turned to the European Court of Human Rights.

But today the Strasbourg judges backed the British law requiring a partner's approval at every stage of the process.

The verdict effectively signals the final destruction of the six embryos which held Ms Evans's only hopes of having a child that is genetically hers.

Ms Evans's lawyers argued in the human rights court that the 1990 Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act governing IVF treatment was a breach of the Human Rights Convention which guarantees the "right to family life".

Her right to family life had been violated because the Act would not allow her to use the embryos without the consent of her partner at every stage of the process, the judges were told.

But the judges today said the Act included a "clear and principled" rule, which was explained to those embarking on IVF treatment and which was clearly set out on the forms they both signed.

It was a rule "whereby the consent of either party might be withdrawn at any stage up to the point of implementation of an embryo".

The UK government, in making that stipulation, had not exceeded "the margin of appreciation afforded to it or upset the fair balance required (by the Human Rights Convention)".

Ms Evans and her then fiance opted for IVF when doctors said Ms Evans would be left infertile after being treated for cancer.

But the couple later split up, and Mr Johnston reversed his consent for the use of the embryos, saying he had changed his mind and did not want the financial or emotional burden of a child with Ms Evans.

In the British courts Ms Evans's lawyers argued that Mr Johnston had originally consented to the creation, storage and use of the embryos, and should not be allowed to change his mind.

Ms Evans's former partner Howard Johnston welcomed the Strasbourg ruling, saying: "It seems that common sense has prevailed."

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How old is she? Can she not have another go at it?

 

Seems a shame, but at the end of the day, isn't it just money she's lost. I sympathise with the bloke, as even if they agreed he would play no financial/emotional role in the upbringing of the child, he'd still have a kid out there, probably eager to meet him one day.

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How old is she? Can she not have another go at it?

 

Seems a shame, but at the end of the day, isn't it just money she's lost. I sympathise with the bloke, as even if they agreed he would play no financial/emotional role in the upbringing of the child, he'd still have a kid out there, probably eager to meet him one day.

 

Age isn't the issue - she no longer has ovaries.

 

As for the bloke's point of view - he had the right to withdraw consent because the contracts for treatment said he had the right to do so at any stage. Not sure whether he deserves wider sympathy - had she been pregnant when they split would he have had the right to decide he no longer wanted the child?

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Djibs

 

They (being very operative) froze embryos

 

So there's no unfertilised eggs around for Jonesy to work his magic on. I am torn on this one and it seems very selfish of the bloke. But it would also be tough - whether she takes full responsibility or not - knowing a sprog is out there....

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What if he wanted one of these embryos to put into his new partner?

 

Would he be getting the same sympathy?

 

The belief that we have the 'right' to children, no matter what, really annoys me.

Edited by Paul Caruso
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Age isn't the issue - she no longer has ovaries.

 

As for the bloke's point of view - he had the right to withdraw consent because the contracts for treatment said he had the right to do so at any stage. Not sure whether he deserves wider sympathy - had she been pregnant when they split would he have had the right to decide he no longer wanted the child?

Aaah, that makes more sense.

 

Hmmm...seems churlish in the extreme from the chap then. And your last point is a good one, though he would have had the right not to get her pregnant once they split up, which is essentially the same. Difficult case but I'd be slightly worried about the chap being put under emotional guilt to allow this to proceed. IF I was him, I think I'd probably allow her to proceed but it's a tough call.

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I think its a fair decision why should her rights take president over his on this issue...?

 

It is a difficult issue, but the embryos were already fertilised. What would his rights be if they'd been fertilised in any other circumstances?

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It is a difficult issue, but the embryos were already fertilised. What would his rights be if they'd been fertilised in any other circumstances?

Had she already been impregnated then his rights would be virtually nonexistent, but she wasn't so he still had a say.

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The chap in case is a good friend of mine and his point was quite simple - he would feel a moral obligation to contribute (emotionally, financially, whatever) to the childs upbringing.

 

It's a tough call either way from a moral perspective but legally he was always told by his lawyer (who he owes a fortune to) that it was crystal clear ie the contract laid out the terms of approvals/non approvals very clearly and he conformed to those terms.

 

He'll be selling his story today to try and cover a fraction of his legal bills and coming away from the subject matter for a second it is a fascinating process to see how the papers compete for the story, their "interpretation" of what he says and how quickly it disappears from the news. I expect it to be front page tomorrow in most papers and then commented on in the Sundays and then never spoken of again! He is fully expecting a barrage of negative press but that he's big enough to handle it.

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I'm not sure I understand what your getting at... :unsure:

 

I think his right to withdraw consent has been upheld because the terms of the medical process they undertook together gave him the right to do so. The courts are probably right to do so. In general though- if a woman's egg has become fertilised as a result of a man's consenting action, he doesn't get to later decide whether he consents to her carrying that fertilised egg through pregnancy and then birth.

 

I can see why the court has made this ruling and they didn't really have much choice. But on balance I have more sympathy for the woman's position than the man.

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Had the woman fallen pregnant 'normally' and they split up, then the man wouldn't have any say whatsoever, and the normal abortion timelines would also apply if the couple changed their minds. In this case 'normality' wasn't quite appropriate, and therefore the 'pregnancy' lies way before the abortion time limit, and therefore imo have got this right under the circumstnces of the case. Harsh but..

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The belief that we have the 'right' to children, no matter what, really annoys me.

In this case, I see the context of your point, but where else does the pursuit of children impinge on other people's rights? To elaborate, where has someone enforced their 'right' to have children over your or others wishes?

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Really?

 

How can they when Roe vs Wade stilll stands?

 

And that's the point

 

Ro v Wade still applies as that's a supreme court ruling. Sth Dakota is doing this directly to challenge RvW. And with the make-up of the Supreme Court where it is now, the question really is, will they still stand by the old decision or overturn it?

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The chap in case is a good friend of mine and his point was quite simple - he would feel a moral obligation to contribute (emotionally, financially, whatever) to the childs upbringing.

 

It's a tough call either way from a moral perspective but legally he was always told by his lawyer (who he owes a fortune to) that it was crystal clear ie the contract laid out the terms of approvals/non approvals very clearly and he conformed to those terms.

 

He'll be selling his story today to try and cover a fraction of his legal bills and coming away from the subject matter for a second it is a fascinating process to see how the papers compete for the story, their "interpretation" of what he says and how quickly it disappears from the news. I expect it to be front page tomorrow in most papers and then commented on in the Sundays and then never spoken of again! He is fully expecting a barrage of negative press but that he's big enough to handle it.

Your first paragraph sums up my concerns exactly. Hypothetically, while an agreement could be made between the two parties, you're always going to know your kid is around somewhere, your kid with someone you don't want any more contact with.

 

Shame only the lawyers profit from this. Your mate is going to get a lot of negative press I think, hope he really is big enough to cope. Good luck to both of them though.

 

And that's the point

 

Ro v Wade still applies as that's a supreme court ruling. Sth Dakota is doing this directly to challenge RvW. And with the make-up of the Supreme Court where it is now, the question really is, will they still stand by the old decision or overturn it?

Good god, it's all going down now. Interesting they try this now, with Bush's approval ratings as low as possible and mid-terms next (?) year, where the GOP could face significant losses. I would have thought it's too late in this administraion to have a good go at RvW, though I appreciate the Supreme Court is there for a lot longer.

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In this case, I see the context of your point, but where else does the pursuit of children impinge on other people's rights? To elaborate, where has someone enforced their 'right' to have children over your or others wishes?

Nothing to do with my rights, I just think there are more than enough children being born and we don't need to meddle with nature to introduce more.

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