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The Medical Law Blog

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Posthumous use of Gametes and the Protection of Future Families

A Scottish court has recently ruled that a woman was able to use her deceased husband’s sperm for IVF. The couple were pursuing fertility treatment when he died from cancer. Her late husband had stored his sperm before he died in the hope of starting a family. However, he had only given consent to intrauterineContinue reading “Posthumous use of Gametes and the Protection of Future Families”

Do Not Resuscitate Orders: A New System of Consent?

During the coronavirus pandemic, it has come to light that do not resuscitate orders (DNROs) have been applied in a blanket manner to vulnerable and elderly patients. These have been implemented without discussion or consultation with the patient or their families. Whilst decisions for DNROs are often made in the patient’s best interest, practice isContinue reading “Do Not Resuscitate Orders: A New System of Consent?”

Embryo and Gamete Freezing: Does the 10 Year Limit Restrict Reproductive Choice?

The current storage period for embryos and gametes is limited to 10 years, at which point patients must choose whether to undergo fertility treatment or to have their frozen eggs, sperm or embryos destroyed. After announcing fertility clinic closures due to COVID-19, the Government recently applied a two-year temporary extension to the 10-year statutory limit.Continue reading “Embryo and Gamete Freezing: Does the 10 Year Limit Restrict Reproductive Choice?”

Organ Donation and Presumed Consent: The Power of Family Veto

Upon death in the UK, the deceased’s money and property are protected, however their body is not. This raises difficult ethical questions about the power of autonomy after death. Does self-determination weigh appropriately against family veto under the new organ donation laws in England?  The Organ Donation (Deemed Consent) Act 2019 Regulations 2020 came intoContinue reading “Organ Donation and Presumed Consent: The Power of Family Veto”

COVID-19: Does the ‘Bolam’ test still set the standard?

The outbreak of COVID-19 has changed the scope of our National Health Service during the Government’s efforts to combat coronavirus. Hospital staff are under immense pressure, risking their lives and many are working in unfamiliar roles during these abnormal circumstances. The Government has guaranteed an indemnity for healthcare professionals as part of their response toContinue reading “COVID-19: Does the ‘Bolam’ test still set the standard?”

UK Surrogacy: Should civil courts still have a central role in a women’s reproductive choices?

Recently, the UK Supreme Court awarded damages for a commercial surrogacy arrangement which took place in California, after a woman pursued the NHS for negligence. This case not only depicts the personal struggles of infertility, but also demonstrates that surrogacy law in the UK is no longer fit for purpose. California has one of theContinue reading “UK Surrogacy: Should civil courts still have a central role in a women’s reproductive choices?”


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This is a personal blog. Any views or opinions represented in this blog are personal and belong solely to the blog owner and do not represent those of people, institutions or organisations that the owner may or may not be in association with in a personal or professional capacity, unless otherwise stated.

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