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Crohn’s Patient Loses Egg Freeze Legal Case

April 15, 2014

Any thoughts, readers?


A woman with Crohn’s disease has lost a legal challenge against a decision to refuse NHS funding to freeze her eggs.

Lawyers for Elizabeth Rose, 25, from Margate, Kent, claimed in the High Court it was unlawful to refuse the treatment to preserve her fertility.

Miss Rose fears an imminent bone marrow transplant and chemotherapy treatment she faces will leave her infertile.

She took legal action over a refusal by Thanet Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to provide funding.

Early menopause

Mr Justice Jay, sitting in London, dismissed her application for a judicial review.

“Unfortunately, it is a probable outcome of this gonadotoxic therapy that the claimant will be rendered infertile and suffer early onset of the menopause,” he said.

“Understandably, the claimant wishes to secure the best chance of having her own genetic children, and she therefore seeks NHS funding for oocyte cryopreservation before the chemotherapy begins.”

He said her application for funding had been refused on more than one occasion but she had failed to demonstrate any unlawfulness.

Postcode lottery

Miss Rose has had a severe form of Crohn’s disease since she was 14.

Her condition has deteriorated and doctors at King’s College Hospital in south east London are recommending a bone marrow transplant and chemotherapy to bring the disease into remission.

The Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design fine art graduate believes she is the victim of a “postcode lottery” as the treatment is available to single women in some other parts of the country.

Clinicians at King’s College applied on her behalf for funding so her eggs could be frozen but the case was contested by Thanet CCG.

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