Widow may face appeal court fight

Romsey Advertiser: Beth Warren is fighting to stop her late husband's sperm from being destroyed. Beth Warren is fighting to stop her late husband's sperm from being destroyed.

A widow who wants to preserve her late husband's sperm may have to stage a fight in the Court of Appeal.

Physiotherapist Beth Warren, 28, from Birmingham, today won a High Court battle with the UK fertility regulator.

A judge ruled in Mrs Warren's favour after a trial in London. But Mrs Justice Hogg gave the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) the go-ahead to take the case to the appeal court.

She said HFEA officials would have until mid-March to decide whether they would lodge an appeal.

Mrs Warren says a limit imposed by the HFEA means that she has little over a year to conceive using sperm which her husband, Warren Brewer, a ski instructor who died of cancer two years ago aged 32, placed in storage.

HFEA officials say they sympathise with Mrs Warren, who uses her late husband's first name as her surname, but say Mr Brewer did not give written consent to his sperm being stored beyond April 2015.

Mrs Justice Hogg ruled in Mrs Warren's favour and said sperm could be stored until 2060. The judge said Mr Brewer had not given written consent "as required" by regulations. Nevertheless, she said she was satisfied that he would have done what was necessary had he been "given the information" and advised.

But she said the HFEA should have the chance to try to overturn her ruling in the appeal court because the case raised a "novel point".

HFEA officials said Mrs Justice Hogg's ruling had implications for other cases.

A lawyer representing Mrs Warren said she had been "elated" by Mrs Justice Hogg's decision but was "downhearted" about the possibility of an appeal.

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