Men whose semen samples thawed can sue trust, say judges

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 06 February 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b501
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. 1BMJ

    Six cancer patients whose frozen semen thawed because of failings by a hospital trust have been given the go ahead by the Court of Appeal to claim compensation, in a judgment that breaks new legal ground.

    The six had their semen frozen in case their fertility was damaged by chemotherapy and stored at Southmead Hospital in Bristol. The samples thawed in June 2003 when the amount of liquid nitrogen in the storage tanks fell below the required level.

    Three appeal court judges headed by the lord chief justice overturned a ruling by a county court judge that negligence claims brought by the six against North Bristol NHS Trust for mental distress and …

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