A woman who lost her recent High Court battle for damages to pay for a surrogate birth is to appeal against the decision, according to a report in the Independent newspaper last week. Patricia Briody sought more than £90,000 to pay for a surrogate birth as part of a total claim for £480,000 damages, after she was left without a womb because of a doctor's negligence. But at the hearing in January, Ms Justice Ebworth rejected her claim for the surrogate birth because experts had given her a less than one per cent chance of success, on account of her age.
Ms Briody, 46, has since undergone fertility treatment at the London Fertility and Gynaecology Centre. Professor Ian Craft collected eight eggs, which were fertilised with her partner's sperm, and Ms Briody now has five frozen embryos in storage. 'All I need now is a womb to put them in' she said last week.
A key argument in the appeal is that the chances of a successful birth were estimated from the experiences of other women her age attending fertility clinics. But Ms Briody is not infertile, having had two pregnancies before she was twenty, so her chances could be much higher. Both these earlier pregnancies ended in stillbirth, and Ms Briody underwent an emergency hysterectomy after the second in 1973.
However, fertility expert Robert Winston, who gave evidence in the original hearing, said the chances of her frozen embryos being viable were very small. 'Embryos can look good under the microscope but it doesn't mean they are of good quality' he warned.
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Surrogate birth claim woman set to appeal