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EDITIONS
Friday, 23 August, 2002, 17:06 GMT 18:06 UK
Embryo fight goes to High Court
Embryo
The embryos are held at a clinic in Bath
Lawyers acting for a Wiltshire woman who wants to try for a baby using embryos fertilised by her former partner say they will take their case to the High Court.

Natallie Evans, 30, had eggs removed from her ovaries prior to treatment for cancer and these were fertilised using sperm from her then partner, Howard Johnston.

Despite weeks of talks between the estranged couple's legal teams, Mr Johnston has maintained he wants the six embryos destroyed.

Ms Evans' solicitor, Muiris Lyons of the law firm Withy King, is now preparing a case to put before the High Court in an attempt to save the embryos from destruction.


This is Natallie's last chance of having a natural child

Natallie Evans' lawyer Muiris Lyons
Mr Lyons said: "We had hoped it might be possible to settle the dispute out of court, but proceedings are likely to be issued next week in the High Court in London.

"We shall argue in court that the deed has been done.

"Mr Johnston consented to these embryos being created and they are Natallie's last chance of having a natural child.

"We shall ask the court that she should be allowed that chance."

'Critical issues

The publicity surrounding this case has led another IVF patient, Lorraine Hadley, to seek Withy King's help in a similar case.

Mrs Hadley is divorced from her husband who wishes to have two embryos held by a West Midlands fertility clinic destroyed.

Mr Lyons said: "Clearly, there are many similarities between Lorraine and Natalie's cases.

"They raise very similar and critical issues and it would therefore be sensible for the court to deal with both cases at the same time."

The High Court hearing is expected to be scheduled for the autumn.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Jane Warr reports
"They will argue that allowing their partners to withdraw their consent breaches their human rights"
Dr Robert Forman, Centre of Reproductive Medicine
"It all hinges on the question of consent"
Mirish Lyons, lawyer
"These women feel they are being discriminated against"

Click here to go to BBC Gloucestershire

Click here to go to BBC Wiltshire
See also:

22 Aug 02 | England
08 Aug 02 | England
31 Mar 99 | Medical notes
26 Jul 99 | Medical notes
08 Jul 02 | Health
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