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Widow's case raises issues of informed consent

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: (Published 30 November 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:1351

The BMA was embroiled last week in the heated controversy over whether a young widow should be allowed to be conceive a baby with her dead husband's sperm.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority again rejected Diane Blood's plea for the right to take her husband's semen to Belgium or the United States, where she could be lawfully inseminated. Amid the outcry, it emerged that the chairman of the BMA's ethics committee had urged the authority not to change its mind only hours before it took its decision.

Doctors had taken the semen from 30 year old Stephen Blood at his wife's request as he lay in a coma 18 months ago after contracting meningitis. But the authority told her that it would …

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