Ruling awaited over dead man's sperm

Beth and her husband Warren Beth Warren and Warren Brewer were together for eight years

Related Stories

The High Court will rule later on a widow's attempt to prevent her dead husband's sperm from being destroyed.

Beth Warren's husband died from a brain tumour two years ago and she has been told that his sperm cannot be stored beyond April 2015.

The Birmingham woman's lawyers say the regulations defy common sense.

Warren Brewer, 32, had his sperm frozen before having radiotherapy treatment for cancer and signed forms saying his wife could use it if he died.

However, regulations state sperm and eggs can be stored for decades, but individuals must update their consent every few years.

That is no longer possible since Mr Brewer's death - so, under current rules, if the sperm is not used within 14 months it will be destroyed.

Ms Warren, 28, said she is not yet ready to have her dead husband's child, and may never decide to - but wants to keep her options open.

The fertility regulator says it has no discretion to extend the storage period.

The case reopens a long-standing debate about the ethics of posthumous conception.

In 1997 the courts ruled Diane Blood should be allowed to take her dead husband's sperm abroad.

In that case there was never any written consent.

Ms Blood went on to have two sons.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Health stories



  • Mukesh SinghNo remorse

    Delhi bus rapist says victim shouldn't have fought back

  • Aimen DeanI spied

    The founder member of al-Qaeda who worked for MI6

  • Before and after shotsPerfect body

    Just how reliable are 'before and after' photos?

  • Lotus 97T driven by Elio de AngelisBeen and Gone

    A champion F1 designer and other notable losses

  • A poster of Boris Nemtsov at a rally in St Petersburg, Russia, 1 MarchWho killed Nemtsov?

    Theories abound over murder that shocked Moscow

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.