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Europe rights court to hear frozen embryos consent case

[JURIST] The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) [official website] announced Monday that it will hear the appeal of a British woman trying to use frozen embryos despite objections from her former partner who fertilized the eggs. The ECHR ruled in March [JURIST report] that Natallie Evans could not use the embryos resulting from a 2001 IVF program with Howard Johnston after Johnston withdrew his consent. Evans originally appealed [JURIST report] to the ECHR last September after two adverse UK court rulings, including a loss in the Court of Appeal [JURIST report] in 2004 citing the terms of the UK Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act [text] under which consent must be given by both prospective parents for in vitro fertilization to be allowed. Evans' lawyers had argued that Evans was entitled to implantation even in the face of Johnston's objection under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights [text], declaring that "Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life...".

The first ECHR ruling [text, in French; press release] was consistent with the law governing similar circumstances in other jurisdictions. In the United States, courts have thusfar ruled that each parent has the absolute right to prevent implantation of any frozen embryo under the constitutional right to privacy. The ECHR will hear Evans' appeal on November 22. AFP has more.

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