Legal ruling means woman can use deceased husband’s sperm
The Court of Protection has ruled that a woman, whose husband sustained a traumatic brain injury, can use the sperm that was taken from him before he died.
The unnamed couple had been trying for a baby prior to the accident that would eventually end the man’s life and had undergone fertility treatment in order to improve their chances.
The woman had made an urgent application for the right to be able to use the sperm following the tragic incident and submissions from lawyers representing the man, the doctors who were caring for him and the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), which regulates the UK’s fertility sector, were heard by the judge, all of which were in support of the woman’s case.
Due to her husband lacking the mental capacity to make his own decisions, the woman’s application was made through the Court of Protection.
Overseeing the hearing, Mrs Justice Gwynneth Knowles granted permission for the man’s sperm to be retrieved and stored prior to his death, saying that she was satisfied this would have been his wish were he able to make the decision for himself.
Those representing the woman in court released a statement, saying: “This enlightened and constructive ruling by the Court of Protection, the co-operative approach of the HFEA and the compassion and dedication of the medical teams involved has given a ray of hope to a young widow and the chance to complete their family in the future as the husband had wished.”