Sperm destruction, cryopreservation, IVF and male fertility issues
The prospect of having a family is one that most people take for granted. Yet for a significant minority of the population, the process is far from straight forward.
Men of all ages who suffer from cancer are at risk of infertility as a result of life saving chemotherapy treatment. They generally bank sperm samples before treatment commences, in order to preserve the prospect of fatherhood by IVF once their treatment is concluded. Suffering from cancer is not the only illness or disease which may give rise to storing sperm samples for later use.
Eggs and embryos may be similarly stored. In most cases, the stored samples are of immeasurable value to the person who produced the sample.
Sadly those samples are not always guarded with the care they deserve. Failure of storage freezer systems, poor administration, or even deliberate malicious acts have all led to precious samples being damaged beyond use or destroyed, dashing the hopes of those who were relying on them as the means of starting a family life.
Thankfully these incidents are relatively rare but that rarity means that very few solicitors have the knowledge and expertise to deal with the complex and novel legal issues which arise in such situations. Chris Thorne, partner at Clarke Willmott is perhaps the leading practitioner in this field. Having acted for the group of Claimants in the ground breaking Court of Appeal decision Yearworth and others v North Bristol NHS Trust  EWCA Civ 37, establishing rights arising from the negligent damage of sperm samples stored on behalf of cancer patients for the first time, he is currently acting for the group in Edinburgh’s WGH freezer failure case, has acted in the Sheffield sperm destruction incident and for a variety of other clients in similar unfortunate circumstances.
“Sadly, for those struggling to achieve parenthood, let down by the medical system, there is often a lack of sensitivity to their plight. Comprehending the serious nature of their loss and conveying that loss through the legal system with the minimum of additional stress is our objective,” commented Chris.
Clarke Willmott can assist with a wide range of issues relating to fertility, IVF/ICSI and Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority regulatory issues.
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If you think you have grounds for a compensation claim call us now on 0800 316 8892 or contact us online.