`Fertility law against widow'

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DB, the widow battling to bear a child using her dead husband's sperm, has the law against her, the High Court was told yesterday.

David Pannick, counsel for the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, which has blocked artificial insemination because the husband never gave written consent, said: "Parliament thought the decision by a man to create life after his death is a matter of such ethical complexity and importance that it should only be taken in a formal manner."

He added that Parliament had balanced opposing views over the ethics of fertility treatment by imposing safeguards, the most important of which was written consent. "There should be no room for uncertainty or doubt about what the man was agreeing to." Letters, page 17