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Provides an authoritative commentary on the HFEA 2008
'We are heartbroken that the judge has ruled against us. Our daughter went through an enormous amount when she was very ill to collect and store her eggs, and we know in our hearts that she regarded them as a life force which she wanted live on after her death – she referred to them as ‘her babies’ and told us before she died that she was happy they would be safe with us. She consented to the use of her eggs after her death and signed the form she was given at her clinic; she was never given any additional form to complete. Unless the court’s decision is overturned, it means that our daughter’s precious eggs will perish once their storage period comes to an end. We know that was absolutely what she did not want to happen. We have only ever wanted to honour her dying wishes, and to give effect to all she went through to preserve this part of her, and we are deeply saddened that the court has not allowed us to do so.'Natalie Gamble, commenting on the case, says:
'There was a written consent form, which AM completed and signed, to say explicitly that she did not want her eggs to be destroyed if she died. No one has disputed that this was her wish. The legal difficulty was that AM did not specify in writing exactly what she did want to happen to her eggs after her death – something she didn’t realise needed to be done. Of course it is now too late to ask her.
The case shows how critical it is that clinics (and patients) who store eggs, sperm or embryos before cancer treatment are absolutely clear about what should happen after their deaths, making sure their wishes are not only expressed but recorded explicitly in writing.'