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A dying wish . . . or lack thereof

A dying wish . . . or lack thereof

By Richard Hughes

Courts 


The common law has long grappled with the issue of proprietary rights over human tissue. A recent Queensland Supreme Court decision approved the posthumous use of a man's sperm and generated debate nationwide. Victorian law on posthumous use of sperm differs importantly from Queensland law, but may change in the near future. A June 2018 judgment of the Supreme Court of Queensland made headlines nationwide. In Re Cresswell1 the applicant woman was granted an order entitling her to possession and use of the sperm harvested from her deceased partner. The applicant's clearly expressed intention was to use that sperm in an assisted reproductive treatment (ART) procedure. But what if the circumstances had occurred in Victoria? Would the outcome have been the same? How does Victoria's statutory framework apply to cases of this nature? What of the ongoing 12-month review, announced by the Minister for Health in April 2018, into Victoria's regulatory framework for assisted reproductive treatment?

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