Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point
On Air
Low Graphics

Thursday, December 31, 1998 Published at 07:27 GMT


Diane brings 'best Christmas present' home

Diane Blood: A peck on the cheek for Liam

Diane Blood has spoken publicly of her joy at being home for Christmas with her newborn son.

BBC Correspondent John Leyne: The baby who made legal history
Liam Stephen Blood, who was born a month premature by Caesarean section two weeks ago, was allowed home from the Jessop Hospital for Women in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, on Christmas Eve after making rapid progress in an incubator since his birth.

His mother said having her 5lb 13oz son back home in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, for Christmas had come as a surprise but it was the best present she could have had.

[ image: The best Christmas present I could have had]
The best Christmas present I could have had
The 32-year-old who fought a three-year legal battle to conceive a baby with her dead husband's sperm said: "Liam and I had a peaceful Christmas at home together after we were discharged from hospital late on Christmas Eve.

"I didn't know before we saw a paediatrician in the late afternoon of that day that Liam would be well enough to go home. It was the best Christmas present I could have had."

Advertising executive Diane said she had not been able to buy Liam a present for Christmas but the new arrival had been unaffected by the excitements of the day.

She said: "As for Liam, he was unfazed by Christmas but Santa didn't forget him. He had lots of toys from friends and family but I hadn't been able to buy him anything - I just gave him lots of cuddles instead."

Mrs Blood was given permission to use her dead husband's sperm in a European court ruling.

Written consent

Her campaign to have her 30-year-old husband's baby began after he contracted bacterial meningitis and fell into a coma in February 1995.

Two sperm samples were put into the care of the Infertility Research Trust.

But after he died, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) refused to allow her to try to conceive, saying a dead man's sperm can only be used if he had given written consent.

The authority also refused her permission to take the samples abroad. Later, she is believed to have been accepted for treatment in Brussels.

In February, 1997, the Court of Appeal overturned a High Court ruling which endorsed the HFEA's decision.

It said the authority was wrong not to take proper account of European law, which gives every EU citizen the right to receive medical services in another member state unless there are overriding public policy reasons against it.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

Health Contents

Background Briefings
Medical notes

Relevant Stories

14 Dec 98 | Health
'Stephen would be very proud to be a father'

14 Dec 98 | Health
Blood baby 'doing well'

11 Dec 98 | Health
Woman has dead husband's baby

Internet Links

Human Fertlisation and Embryology Authority

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

Disability in depth

Spotlight: Bristol inquiry

Antibiotics: A fading wonder

Mental health: An overview

Alternative medicine: A growth industry

The meningitis files

Long-term care: A special report

Aids up close

From cradle to grave

NHS reforms: A guide

NHS Performance 1999

From Special Report
NHS in crisis: Special report

British Medical Association conference '99

Royal College of Nursing conference '99