The husband was given the right to use the embryo made with the late wife for surrogacy.


A High Court judge has ruled that the husband of a woman who died suddenly while pregnant with twins, used surrogate embryos during childbirth treatment to produce a child. Can

Ted Jennings, 38, and his late wife, Fern Marie Choya, who died in 2019 at the age of 40 after rupturing her uterus when she was 18 weeks pregnant with twin girls, have undergone several IVF cycles since 2013. Had done

Mr Jennings, from Highbury, North London, wants to use the couple’s surviving embryos, which were made in 2018 using his sperm and his wife’s eggs, and to be stored at a private fertility clinic in London. Placed, so that they can be used in treatment with a surrogate. Mother”

Fern-Marie Choya dies suddenly of uterine rupture while carrying twins (PA) / PA Media

The investment manager sought an announcement from a London High Court judge that it would be permissible for him to do so, as Ms Choya had not given her written consent before her death.

Her application was opposed by the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority (HFEA), which argued that it would be illegal for Ms. Choya to use the embryo in this way without her written consent.

But, in a ruling Wednesday, Mrs Justice Thesis said she was “satisfied” that Ms Choya had agreed to use the fetus in the event of her death.

The judge also concluded that Ms. Choya was not given ample opportunity to consent in writing because a form completed during the IVF procedure was “not clear” that the woman should be allowed to use the fetus posthumously. What must be done to obtain consent? By her partner.

He said HFEA “may want to consider” whether the form should be reviewed in light of its decision.

He said: “Referring to the matter of Ms. Choya’s consent, I am satisfied that, in the circumstances of this case, the court can deduce from all the available evidence that Ms. Choya used Mr. Jennings to use her partner. In case of his death, embryo was made for treatment with surrogate.

“It is being considered in a context where, in my opinion, he was not given ample opportunity to discuss the relevant information and / or with the clinic.”

The judge said that in order to respect the decision to become a parent, Mr. Jennings had intervened that she did not approve of the declaration she had made, which was “important, final and lifelong.”

He added: “There are no weighty counter-arguments to justify significant intervention, there is no dispute over the rights of individuals and granting the application will not undermine the core purpose of the legal scheme, ie the need for consent. “

The judge also said that Mr Jennings’ case “would not open a floodgate” and that it could “meet the requirement of written and signed consent in a limited situation where a person has their consent to consent”. A fair and reasonable opportunity in life has been denied, for their post-mortem use of embryos and there is evidence that the court concludes that if given this opportunity, the consent of the person in writing Provided on

The judge heard Mr Jennings’ request at a hearing in London in May.

He said in his decision that Mr Jennings and Miss Choya, who had moved to the UK from Trinidad, met in 2007 and married in 2009.

She wanted a family and, after struggling to conceive naturally, went through three cycles of IVF treatment in 2013 and 2014 without success.

Ms. Choya became pregnant naturally in 2015 and 2016, but both pregnancies ended in abortion due to ectopic pregnancy.

The couple then cycled more IVFs in 2017 and 2018 and re-mortgaged their home to cover private medical expenses. Ms. Choya became pregnant with twin girls in November 2018.

Ms Choya, an accountant, died in February 2019, just 18 weeks after her pregnancy, “tragically and without warning”, after complications and a uterine rupture, the judge said.

In a witness statement before the judge, Mr Jennings said he did not recall that he or his wife had “any negative feelings about parenting when using a surrogate, donating a fetus or adopting a child”.

He added: “Our emotional journey was going through the helplessness of infertility which was linked to the feeling of injustice in view of all the other medical problems we were already facing.

“We are finally in a position to accept that after giving IVF its best shot, this will be the last time and will be saved for the final embryo surrogacy.”

He also said that he and his wife discussed what should happen if he died, or if he or his twins were in danger of dying, and he said It was “inevitable” that the girls would be rescued. There is a choice between him and them.

The judge also considered evidence from Ms Choya’s family, who told her “with one voice” what they wanted.

It also included evidence from one of her four sisters, who said she “wholeheartedly” believed that Ms Choya wanted Mr Jennings to use frozen embryos in treatment with a surrogate.