X, Re (Catastrophic Injury: Collection and Storage of Sperm) [2022] EWCOP 48

Richard Jones and Melissa Elsworth represented the parents of a young man, aged 22, who had suffered an unexpected and catastrophic stroke. He was not expected to recover and the medical professionals intended to test imminently for brain stem death. His parents applied to the Court of Protection for a declaration that it was lawful for the hospital to retrieve and store his sperm (and for his father to be able to sign the relevant consent forms). This was so that his parents could honour his wish of becoming a parent and to carry on his legacy.

Although Mr Justice Poole ultimately decided that he would not make the declarations sought by the parents on the specific facts of this case, the judgment does address fundamental and more general issues concerning consent and posthumous fertility treatment. It emphasises, in particular, the importance of clear evidence of consent not only to becoming a parent during life, but to also becoming a parent whilst incapacitated and after death.

Full Judgment

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