Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Embryos, Rights and Dilemmas

Ms Evans's embryos will be destroyed. Her and her partner's embryos had been frozen few years ago. The married couple then split, but Ms Evans wished to use them without her partner's consent, since she's lost fertility after an ovarian cancer operation.

The UK courts and the European Court of Human Rights, including the Grand Chamber (the highest formation of the European Court), declined the request of Ms Evans.

Under these circumstances, the case was particularly difficult to decide and probably raised issues that were not legally solvable. The ambiguous position of the judges and the lawyers who 'feel dreadful' for Ms Evans, but can only decide against her is a sign of a widespread discomfort and the symbol of the existence of a dilemma (for my academic commentary see the European Constitutional Law Review http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayJournal?jid=ECL, October 2006.

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