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Widower claims surrogacy costs at the High Court

8 March 2021
Appeared in BioNews 1086

A man tried to claim the costs of a surrogacy arrangement in the Irish High Court.

Padraig Creaven's wife Aoife Mitchell Creaven died from cervical cancer in 2015. They had gone through five rounds of IVF and Mitchell Creaven was pregnant at the time her cancer was discovered. The couple terminated the 'much wanted' pregnancy to allow her to commence chemotherapy, her only treatment option.

After being notified that cervical smear test results that could have resulted in an earlier diagnosis had been misreported, Creaven brought an action against Ireland's Health Services (HSE), three laboratories, and Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital. Among the damages sought were the cost of surrogacy in the USA, using the couple's remaining frozen embryos.

Creaven's lawyer told the court that surrogacy is the 'only way he can fulfil the wish they both had' to become parents, and told Ms Justice Deirdre Murphy there was no reason not to include surrogacy costs in the claim.

Lawyers representing Creaven argued that the failure of the HSE and laboratories to report the abnormal smear meant his wife was unable to ensure that her condition was investigated and managed in a timely and effective manner. They also said that despite a review of the slide by the hospital in 2014, Creaven was not informed of the mistake until 2018. 

The case has since settled out of court, so the judge did not have to rule on the surrogacy claim, but Creaven plans to go ahead with finding a surrogate using the settlement.

The HSE said it 'reiterates its sincere and unreserved apology to Mr Creaven for the failure by the CervicalCheck programme to communicate with him in a timely and appropriate way, the results of an audit that indicated a change in the interpretation of Aoife's smear'.

Grieving husband whose wife died of cervical cancer sues and claims for surrogacy
Irish Examiner |  3 March 2021
Husband sues for surrogacy costs after wife's death from cervical cancer
Irish Times |  3 March 2021
Husband to use money from High Court settlement for surrogacy
RTE |  4 March 2021
Man wants surrogacy costs covered after wife died from cervical cancer |  3 March 2021
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