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Topic: And here we go on the other side

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  1. #1

    And here we go on the other side

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    http://www.cnn.com/2006/LAW/03/07/em...ing/index.html

    Woman loses frozen embryo battle

    Tuesday, March 7, 2006; Posted: 9:47 a.m. EST (14:47 GMT)

    Evans and her then fiance had IVF when doctors said she would be left infertile after cancer treatment.
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    LONDON, England -- The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that a British woman has no right to use frozen embryos to have a baby without the consent of the man who provided the sperm.

    The court upheld a UK law that says permission from both parents is needed at every stage of the in vitro fertilization (IVF) process, as well as for the storage and implantation of the fertilized eggs.

    Natallie Evans, 34, underwent IVF in 2001 with her partner Howard Johnston ahead of ovarian cancer treatment which rendered her infertile.

    The couple later split and he withdrew his consent for the embryos to be used, triggering a drawn-out legal battle.

    Evans was defeated in the British courts and faced an order to destroy the embryos. With time running out for the use of her stored embryos, she turned to the European court, based in Strasbourg, France.

    But on Tuesday judges backed the British law, effectively signaling the eventual destruction of the six embryos which held Evans's only hopes of having a child that is genetically hers.

    Johnston argued he did not want the financial or emotional burden of being a father to a child he would not bring up.

    Lawyers for Evans had said the British law, which requires both the man and women to give consent, infringes her human rights.

    She said her right to privacy and family life and the embryo's right to life were being violated by Johnston's decision to withdraw his permission for use of his sperm. She also argued his attempt to block her having the baby was discriminatory.

    The court said it sympathized Evans' plight, but ruled that Johnston's withdrawal of consent for the use of his sperm did not violate her right to family life as stipulated in Europe's human rights convention.

    Evans said she would appeal to the human rights court's Grand Chamber -- a panel of 17 European judges -- and the court urged the British government to ensure the embryos are not destroyed while the appeal is considered.

    Evans also begged Johnston to reconsider and let her use the embryos.

    "Howard may feel it is too late for him to change his mind, but it is not. Howard, please think about it," she read from a prepared statement in London.

    Johnston said he disliked the attention the case has brought and was relieved the court ruled in his favor.

    "The key thing for me was just to be able to decide when and if I start a family. So, that's been the basis for it," he told journalists in Cheltenham, England, according to The Associated Press.

  2. #2
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    Re: And here we go on the other side

    Yes - glad you brought this case up Nick. A fascinating case in some ways. I would be interested to hear other's views on this.

  3. #3

    Re: And here we go on the other side

    There's nothing complicated about this to me, no dilemma whatsoever. The court's decision is despicable. Her ex shouldn't be considered the father and shouldn't be responsible for the children, any more than a sperm donor would. But destroying frozen embryos that someone wants is very closed to forced abortion.

    Just terrible.

  4. #4

    Re: And here we go on the other side

    This is indeed a very sad case. They've destroyed her only chance at having a child that is biologically hers. I believe that the courts acted foolishly in this case. I'm sure that a compromise could have been reached - maybe the sperm donor (ex-boyfriend) could have just signed a release saying that he has no liability as far as it relates to the child/children. As I read it, it seemed to me that he was mostly concerned about the financial aspect of it all (child support). I really don't see what the emotional part of it would be for him if he just didn't participate in the child/children live(s). Truly sad.

  5. #5

    Re: And here we go on the other side

    Quote Originally Posted by moviemaestro
    I'm sure that a compromise could have been reached - maybe the sperm donor (ex-boyfriend) could have just signed a release saying that he has no liability as far as it relates to the child/children.
    And if anyone anywhere could trust in the sanity of their court system I'm sure that would have been the case. As things stand, i could easily see this woman deciding in about 15 years, "Hey, this kid is a pain in the @$$! Let's make bio-dad sperm donor help!' and the courts would be right there making that happen. At least now this guy sleeps at night.

    I'm only about half-kidding with the above. It's a terrible comment on people in general that things had to be handled this way. That woman should have been able to have her biological child and the man should have been freed of responsibility- although when he fertilized her in the first place he was accepting some sort of responsibility anyway. Blah. People suck.

  6. #6
    Moderator/Developer Brian2112's Avatar
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    Re: And here we go on the other side

    Quote Originally Posted by FredProgGH
    Blah. People suck.
    Note to self: file in Bumper Sticker Idea folder.
    "So what if some parts of life are a crap shoot? Get out there and shoot the crap." -- Neil Peart
    Hint:1.6180339887498948482 Φ

  7. #7

    Re: And here we go on the other side

    when he fertilized her in the first place he was accepting some sort of responsibility anyway.
    He supplied sperm that they used to fertilize embryos they then froze. To me the point at which he becomes the father is when they decide to implant them so they can have a baby together.

  8. #8

    Re: And here we go on the other side

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Batzdorf
    He supplied sperm that they used to fertilize embryos they then froze. To me the point at which he becomes the father is when they decide to implant them so they can have a baby together.
    Yeah, I agree, but he was surely aware that that would be the logical conclusion of his being a donor. If I were him I would have kept my sperm to myself until I knew there would be a pregnancy that I wanted to be involved in.

  9. #9

    Re: And here we go on the other side

    At the time he didn't have the luxury of waiting! All he was doing at that point was keeping their options open.

    Remember, they were married. Only a totally callous ~~~~~~~ would have even considered the potential legalities when his wife was about to go in for chemo (or was it surgery? radiation?).

  10. #10
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    Re: And here we go on the other side

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Batzdorf
    At the time he didn't have the luxury of waiting! All he was doing at that point was keeping their options open.

    Remember, they were married. Only a totally callous ~~~~~~~ would have even considered the potential legalities when his wife was about to go in for chemo (or was it surgery? radiation?).
    Who was married?

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