The Seville Court in Spain, has radically resolved the dispute between the two members of a separated couple regarding their frozen pre-embryos: in front of the woman who wanted to donate them for research and her ex-partner who preferred that they be given to other couples for reproductive purposes , now the clinic will keep them and they can dispose of them as they deem, even donating them to be managed by another woman.
It was about a couple with a relationship analogous to the matrimonial one who had undergone assisted reproduction techniques and, after the breakup, the future of their frozen pre-embryos was considered. The woman wanted them to be destined for research to prevent another woman from gestating them «with the result of a child with her genetic load,» but the man advocated donating them for reproductive purposes to other couples who needed them.
The Second Section of the Hearing, in a ruling to which this newspaper had access, appeals to the literality of the 2006 law on Assisted Human Reproduction Techniques to affirm that the informed consent document they signed established that every two years at most they had to «renew or modify» their consent, and since they had not done so during two consecutive renewals, those future fetuses must remain at the disposal of the medical center to give them «the appropriate destination.»
Alternatives include destroying them, using them for research or for “reproductive purposes,” that is, donating them to other couples.
Pre-embryos -recalls the sentence- are the set of cells from the fertilization of the oocyte until 14 days later, when it is implanted in the uterus and it is the moment when «regardless of the moral conception of each one, the beginning of individuality ”.
Not only the woman but also the man who contributes his reproductive material should decide
The first debate that arose was the woman’s request for a “purely literalist interpretation of the legal text” by virtue of which she was the one who had to decide “exclusively” about the fate of the pre-embryos “as there was no link conjugal ”with your former partner.
The Hearing recognizes that the exclusion of the unmarried male «has raised a heated doctrinal controversy» but believes that it does not have «reasonable motivation, particularly in the case that the male parent or parent partner has provided their own reproductive material.»
Even more so when both have been united by a prolonged relationship analogous to the matrimonial one, based on the “legal and jurisprudential tendency to equate marriage and the unmarried couple in multiple aspects”.
But regardless of this consideration, the Hearing justifies its decision in the informed consent signed by the future parents, which «has legal relevance» since it links not only the couple with the clinic but also the members of the parent couple with each other.
Remember the sentence that the Law of Assisted Reproduction establishes that the consent to give a certain destination to pre-embryos can be modified, but if after two consecutive renewals it has not occurred, they will be available to the medical center “which could give them the destination that proceed ”.
The sentence does pronounce on another request of the woman and decrees that her ex-partner must pay half of the 1,470 euros that she paid for the costs of conservation of her pre-embryos.