BFS Statement on ECHR judgement on Natallie Evans case

The statement below is issued by Dr Allan Pacey, Secretary of the British Fertility Society on the Grand Chamber Judgement by the European Court of Human Rights on the case of Natallie Evans.

Dr Allan Pacey, Secretary of the British Fertility Society said:

“It is a very sad situation that Natallie has found herself in, and we’d like to express our sympathy to her. To freeze embryos is currently the only realistic way that many women can preserve their fertility before embarking on cancer treatment. As in many countries, the UK has clearly established principles of shared responsibility from both the sperm and egg provider concerning the fate of any frozen embryos up until the point that they are transferred back into a woman. This will have been explained to Natallie and her partner at the time their embryos were created and the BFS considers that it is only fair to Mr Johnston that this principle has been upheld. However, the BFS hopes that this situation might be avoided in the future by encouraging progress to be made in the science and practice of freezing and storing eggs. This would mean that women could bank their eggs before cancer treatment, in the same way that men are able to bank their sperm, and would avoid the need to create embryos at that time.”