“Wrongful births” again: ARB v IVF Hammersmith

In November 2018, we posted Wrongful births”, statistics and the law, in which we looked at compensation claims in a number of cases in which the parents of a congenitally-diseased child had argued that their doctor had failed to warn them of their risk of conceiving or giving birth to a child with serious genetic or congenital abnormalities and claimed damages for the cost of raising an unexpectedly disabled child.

A rather different issue has been the subject of a more recent judgment by the Court of Appeal: in ARB v IVF Hammersmith & Anor [2018] EWCA Civ 2803 the IVF clinic had implanted an embryo into the appellant father’s former wife without his consent and he sued for breach of contract. ARB (the father) and R (at the time, his wife) had had fertility treatment at the clinic some years previously and had had a son – and, in the course of their IVF treatment, the clinic had frozen five embryos from their gametes. The couple subsequently split up – but R decided that she wanted another child. Continue reading