“You would have thought the law would be entirely behind a person who intervenes to help a stranger in distress. Indeed most civil law countries impose a positive duty to rescue, which means that if a person finds someone in need of medical help, he or she must take all reasonable steps to seek medical care and render best-effort first aid. A famous example of this was the investigation into the photographers at the scene of Lady Diana’s fatal car accident: they were suspected of violation of the French law of “non-assistance à personne en danger” (deliberately failing to provide assistance to a person in danger), which can be punished by up to 5 years imprisonment and a fine of up to 70,000 euros. But the position in common law countries like the UK and the United States is completely different: you can watch a child drown and not be held to account.”
UK Human Rights Blog, 26th June 2013
“Any human ovum after fertilisation, any non-fertilised human ovum into which the cell nucleus from a mature human cell had been transplanted, and any non-fertilised human ovum whose division and further development had been stimulated by parthenogenesis constituted a ‘human embryo’ within the meaning of article 6(2)(c) of Parliament and Council Directive 98/44/EC of 6 July 1998 on the legal protection of biotechnological inventions (OJ 1998 L 213, p 13) and could not therefore be patented.”
WLR Daily, 18th October 2011
Court of Appeal
“A sample of sperm from a person undergoing chemotherapy, which a hospital stored in case he became infertile after the treatment, was that person’s property and its loss or damage was capable of establishing a claim in negligence.”
The Times, 10th February 2009
Please note that the Times Law Reports are only available free on Times Online for 21 days from the date of publication.
“The sperm sample of a person undergoing chemotherapy treatment, stored by a hospital for his benefit for future use in case the treatment made him infertile, was property owned by him whose loss or damage entitled him to bring an action for negligence. Moreover, where the circumstances showed there was a bailment of the sperm to the hospital unit storing it, a cause of action for bailment could arise for its loss or damage sounding in damages for psychiatric injury and/or mental distress.”
WLR Daily, 5th February 2009
Please note once a case has been reported in one of the ICLR series the corresponding WLR Daily summary is removed.