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Clinic may treat woman with her brother's sperm

28 August 2001
By BioNews
Appeared in BioNews 122

A London clinic has confirmed that it is considering offering IVF treatment using donor sperm to a post-menopausal French woman. The 47-year old woman is not able to receive treatment in France as it is illegal there to be treated after the menopause. The woman will use an anonymously donated egg which will be fertilised by sperm donated by her brother, in order to maintain a familial genetic link to the child.

Professor Gedes Grudzinskas, medical director of the Bridge Centre where the treatment is being considered, has criticised 'emotive' reporting of the story, and has denied that the treatment would be incestuous. He stated that whether the woman receives the treatment or not is subject to confirmation from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) showing that such treatment falls within their guidelines.

An HFEA spokesperson said that the decision remained with the clinic but that the Authority had been consulted as it can provide advice in such situations. The HFEA has told the woman that the treatment would not be illegal to perform and that the use of the donated egg prevented the situation being called incest. The Authority has given the clinic the green light to go ahead with the treatment when it is satisfied that the clinic has fully considered the welfare of the resulting child. Professor Grudzinskas said 'I do not consider this case to be different from a woman receiving an egg donated by her sister. It is not incest. The brother's sperm will be washed and prepared and used to fertilise an egg which has come from a completely different anonymous source.'

SOURCES & REFERENCES
IVF to give woman a baby by brother
The Guardian |  27 August 2001
Sister to be impregnated with her brother's child at London clinic
The Independent |  27 August 2001
Woman to have brother's IVF child
The Sunday Times |  26 August 2001
Woman wants brother's IVF baby
BBC News Online |  27 August 2001
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