Front Page

UK

World

Business

Sci/Tech

Sport

Despatches

World Summary


On Air

Cantonese

Talking Point

Feedback

Low Graphics

Help

Site Map

Wednesday, January 21, 1998 Published at 17:18 GMT



UK

Inquiry into oldest mum birth
image: [ Elizabeth Buttle's case is being investigated ]
Elizabeth Buttle's case is being investigated


Richard Hannaford reports
An investigation has been launched following claims that Britain's oldest mother had fertility treatment.

Elizabeth Buttle says that she gave birth naturally at the age of 60 but it has been reported in a British national newspaper that she deceived staff at a fertility clinic.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, which regulates the industry, is to investigate the allegations.


[ image: Dr Susan Bates
Dr Susan Bates "No way of checking ages"
It is also expected to review procedures at clinics across the country to check whether patients generally tell the truth.

The HFEA code of practice says clinics should carry out reasonable checks on every patient including age and medical history.

The London Gynaecology and Fertility Centre, where Mrs Buttle is said to have had her treatment, says it does not carry out birth certificate checks.

Dr Susan Bates, from the clinic in Harley Street, London, said: "We don't ask patients for birth certificates and we have no way of corroborating what they tell us.

"There are very strict rules over patient confidentiality. We cannot contact a patient's GP about fertility treatment unless the patient gives specific consent."

She denied that the clinic had treated Mrs Buttle, of Lampeter, Dyfed, Wales, but accepted that Mrs Buttle may have been admitted under a false name.


[ image: Sam Abdalla wants a legal maximum age limit]
Sam Abdalla wants a legal maximum age limit
The Daily Express newspaper reported that Mrs Buttle was admitted as a 49-year-old called Tracy Ann Williams.

Most clinics refuse to treat any patients over 50 but the case has prompted calls for a legal age limit.

Sam Abdalla, from the Lister Hospital, said: "It is time for the HFEA to set an upper age limit. It's a decision for society to make, not a doctor on his own."
 





Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage

©

  Relevant Stories

15 Jan 98 | UK
Gran's a mum again at 60!

 
  Internet Links

Infertility Resources

What is the HFEA?


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

Next steps for peace

Blairs' surprise over baby

Bowled over by Lord's

Beef row 'compromise' under fire

Hamilton 'would sell mother'

Industry misses new trains target

From Sport
Quins fightback shocks Cardiff

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

IRA ceasefire challenge rejected

Thousands celebrate Asian culture

From Sport
Christie could get two-year ban

From Entertainment
Colleagues remember Compo

Mother pleads for baby's return

Toys withdrawn in E.coli health scare

From Health
Nurses role set to expand

Israeli PM's plane in accident

More lottery cash for grassroots

Pro-lifers plan shock launch

Double killer gets life

From Health
Cold 'cure' comes one step closer

From UK Politics
Straw on trial over jury reform

Tatchell calls for rights probe into Mugabe

Ex-spy stays out in the cold

From UK Politics
Blair warns Livingstone

From Health
Smear equipment `misses cancers'

From Entertainment
Boyzone star gets in Christmas spirit

Fake bubbly warning

Murder jury hears dead girl's diary

From UK Politics
Germ warfare fiasco revealed

Blair babe triggers tabloid frenzy

Tourists shot by mistake

A new look for News Online





UK Contents

Northern Ireland
Scotland
Wales
England