European rights court to hear frozen embryo case

[JURIST] A woman who was ordered by a British court to destroy frozen embryos produced with her former partner is taking her case to the European Court of Human Rights [official website] Tuesday, claiming the refusal to allow her to implant the embryos is a breach of the European Convention on Human Rights [PDF text], which protects the "right to family life," and violates discrimination laws by allowing one partner to make the final decision. Natallie Evans and her former partner Howard Johnston created the six embryos in 2001 after Evans was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and began treatment which would make her infertile. When the couple split up, Johnston revoked his consent for use of the embryos. The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act [text] requires consent of both partners at all stages of the IVF process. Evans has exhausted her UK legal options; an appeals court dismissed her claim [JURIST report] last year and the UK's highest court has refused to consider the case. This is the first fertility treatment case to be considered by the human rights court. A decision is not expected until early 2006. The Guardian has more.

 

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