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Woman blames ‘press innuendo’ as legal bid to harvest vegetative partner’s sperm is dropped

By Darren Boyle

A woman has abandoned an attempt to harvest her seriously-ill partner’s sperm because of “insinuations in the press” that she is only after the man’s money.
The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, wanted the Court of Protection to grant her the right to take some of her unconscious partner’s sperm.

Her partner was described as a retired investment banker.
Yesterday, the woman, known only as AB, abandoned her legal bid citing media intrusion as the reason behind her decision.

Newspapers including the Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph and Independent covered an earlier court hearing. 

The court had previously heard that the man, known only as P, suffered a series of heart attacks and is only being kept alive medically.

The High Court heard that the man suffered a catastrophic heart attack in early December 2013 followed by four more on Christmas Eve. He is now subject to a Do Not Resuscitate Order and is in a permanent vegetative state and could die at any moment.

The woman secured an emergency court order on Christmas Eve to harvest the man’s sperm but this was later discharged by the High Court.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority blocked the woman’s plans to store the sperm for future use either in Britain or abroad.

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The woman had earlier told the court that her partner had discussed having children and would have given his written consent.

The court heard that P had proposed marriage last year and had given AB a ring.

However, Mrs Justice Carr refused to grant the woman, who was described of being of “limited means”, a protection order against the costs of the planned two day court hearing.

Carr said: “At least at some time P has been a wealthy man having made a great deal of money from investment banking before retiring.”

But AB's lawyer Paul I Kay Onifade said today: "Following the hearing of 14 January 2014 in the above matter, our client is deeply upset about the insinuation in the Press that she is only after P's money, when it is clear that any child conceived through the means desired by our client cannot as a matter of law have legal rights (such as inheritance) as P's child.

"The couple did have detailed discussions about having children and family planning arrangements were in contemplation. As a matter of fact, P had chosen the names he wanted for the children.

"This is about P's lasting wish and that is the reason why our client has taken this step.

"In view of the fact that P had not committed this into writing because no one had anticipated the present tragic situation, our client has reached with regrets a considered position that she does not wish to proceed with her Judicial Review application and consequently will not be approaching the Court of Protection.

"Her energies will now be devoted to caring for P. She asks that can the Press please allow her privacy in this very difficult time."

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