Woman faces fight to use dead partner's sperm
UPDATE: A Toowoomba woman who won the right to remove the testicles from her dead partner in the hope of making a baby will likely face a legal challenge to use the sperm.
The Queensland Supreme Court granted permission for Leith Patteson to extract the sperm from her former partner Tony Deane in April.
But a second application must be made before that sperm can be used and a lawyer representing Mr Deane's family said it would likely be opposed.
Bill Munro from Munro Legal said the family had flown in from New Zealand to collect his body and had been confronted with a demand for access to the sperm.
There is an urgent need to extract sperm from a dead body quickly. If it's not taken within 24 hours the sperm may not be usable.
Mr Munro said the family complied with the request because of its urgency.
"We all agreed that the status quo be maintained in order to enable an informed decision to be made," he said.
As soon as the order was made Mr Deane's reproductive organs were removed and the remainder of body was removed by his parents.
Mr Munro said a future application to use the sperm would likely be opposed.
"I'd be very surprised if they did consent to that order. On the material I have available at the moment they would not consent to the sperm being used," he said.
EARLIER: A Toowoomba woman has been granted permission to remove the testicles from her dead partner in the hope of having his baby.
The Queensland Supreme Court granted permission for Leith Patteson to use the testicles to extract sperm.
The couple had been engaged and was actively trying to have a baby together before the man suddenly died.
Ms Patteson lodged an urgent application for a procedure to preserve Tony Deane's testicles after he died in April.
The testicles had to be removed within 24 hours for the sperm to be viable.
Friends of the couple presented evidence to the court which stated their desire to have a baby.
Ms Patteson met Mr Deane in September last year and they became engaged a month later.
They had been planning to get married late this year.
At one point, Ms Patteson thought she was pregnant and she and Mr Deane were "ecstatic", but when it was discovered that this was not the case they "continued to keep trying".
On April 18 Mr Deane made an attempt on his life, was transported to hospital and later died.
In his April 21 ruling, Justice John Byrne granted the request to remove the testicles.
"Those orders will ... permit mature reflection ... whether to proceed with the use of any extracted material," he said.
The application was not opposed by the deceased man's lawyers or his family.
Justice Byrne said another application had to be made before the sperm could be used.
He said that would give Ms Patteson time to decide whether or not to go through with the pregnancy.
Bill Munro from Monro Legal is representing Mr Deane's family. He said he would be surprised if the family consented to the sperm being used by Ms Patteson for in vitro fertilisation.