A woman has applied for the right to store the sperm of her seriously ill partner so she can bear his children.
Her partner, reported to be wealthy, suffered four heart attacks last month and was hospitalised in a coma. His condition is life-threatening.
The woman, who was in a relationship with the man for several years, claims he would have consented to the procedure had he been aware that ”he would be in his current state”, the Telegraph reports. The couple discussed raising a family and he had proposed to her before his illness, she says.
The woman, referred to as ‘AB’ in case reports, is challenging a decision by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) that she should not be allowed to gather and store her partner’s sperm for possible future use.
The Authority claims it has no legal power to licence the hospital to store his sperm because his consent is required under the 1990 Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act.
Mrs Justice Carr ruled this week that AB’s legal challenge, due to be heard in February, should initially be conducted as a Court of Protection hearing, in order to consider her partner’s best interests as a person who currently lacked legal capacity. The court would then go on to consider AB’s legal arguments against the HFEA’s decision.
At this week’s hearing AB also applied for a protective costs order which would limit her liability for costs if she lost the case but the judge ruled that she not supplied sufficient information on her assets to justice such an order.
The HFEA monitors and regulates the use of human sperm, eggs and embryos in fertility treatment and research.