A London woman who wanted to create her own grandchild by using her deceased daughter’s eggs has been denied by a high court. The court’s reasoning: there was no way to know if the deceased would have wanted her eggs used in such a way.
According to the Star Tribune, the unnamed woman was refused after trying to send her daughter’s eggs to the United Stated to be fertilized and then transferred into her so she could effectively give birth to her own grandchild. The deceased woman, who passed four years ago, did sign an order stating that her eggs could be frozen after her death (the cause has not been reported) but not how they could be used. While it could be interpreted that there’s no other reason for the eggs to remain frozen than to have them be used to create a child, Britain’s fertility regulator refused to ship the eggs overseas because there was no concrete proof that suggested that this honored the dead woman’s wishes.
In 2011, an Israeli court made a controversial ruling when it allowed the parents of a teen killed in a card accident to harvest and freeze her eggs. In that case, the eggs of the 17-year-old had not even been removed to be frozen and there was also no clear sign that the deceased wanted her eggs to be used in any way aside from the family’s insistence that she wanted to be a mother someday. The family dropped a petition to fertilize the eggs after a court asked them show proof that the teen wanted to have her eggs fertilized, but the ruling worried many bioethicists around the globe who brought up concerns such as overpopulation, too many children already living in poverty or the foster system, and whether using technology in this way was an ethical use of shared resources.
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