A substantial court judge has heard that the judicial evaluation action brought by Elizabeth Rose is ‘exceptionally urgent’. Photograph: Leigh Day/PA
A Crohn’s ailment sufferer is tough what she claims is an “unlawful” choice to refuse her funding for her eggs to be frozen ahead of she undergoes chemotherapy.
A judge at the substantial court in London heard on Tuesday that a judicial evaluation action brought by artist Elizabeth Rose, 25, from Margate, Kent, was “exceptionally urgent”.
Her barrister advised Mr Justice Jay that Rose, who was diagnosed with Crohn’s condition at the age of 14, faces imminent bone marrow transplantation and chemotherapy – remedy she fears will render her infertile.
Clinicians at King’s School Hospital in London utilized on her behalf for funding so her eggs could be frozen prior to treatment method. But Jeremy Hyam, representing Rose, stated there was a “continuing refusal” by Thanet Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to provide NHS-funded fertility preservation therapy – the most latest refusal was on 19 March.
Rose, who was present in court, launched the legal action in a bid to overturn the refusal and keep alive her hopes of one day possessing young children. She believes she is the victim of a “postcode lottery” as the treatment method is accessible to single women in other elements of the nation.
Rose, a Central Saint Martins University of Art and Design and style fine artwork graduate, stated she is established that the rules should be altered “as this remedy is turning out to be a lot more commonplace for Crohn’s disease sufferers and I would not want any other girl to have to go by way of this ordeal”.
In written argument ahead of the judge, Hyam submits that the refusal to fund the fertility preservation treatment method, which would expense £4,050, is unlawful “because it was and continues to be defended on the basis of a policy which is unlawful and out of date”.
He advised the judge: “The anticipated consequence for her if the fertility preservation remedy is not supplied is lifelong infertility and the inability to bear her personal genetic youngster. Oocyte cryopreservation takes a number of weeks to complete and consequently there is a quick window of opportunity.”
The case is being contested by Thanet CCG, which argues that its refusal is lawful. It has mentioned in a statement: “All Kent and Medway CCGs have agreed a policy on assisted reproductive methods, including in relation to the freezing of eggs.
“The policy all Kent and Medway CCGs have adopted, right after comprehensive consultation and clinical guidance, is that this certain method will not normally be funded by the NHS in Kent and Medway on the basis that there is inadequate proof to demonstrate effectiveness.
“We are really sorry about the distress this might lead to sufferers who are facing really hard individual conditions. Even so, we must use our limited public income to fund solutions for our population as a total and so are needed to get hard decisions on prioritising remedies.”
Merry Varney, from law firm Leigh Day, who is representing Rose, mentioned in a statement: “While we and our consumer appreciate there are constrained money obtainable, Great [the Nationwide Institute for Health and Care Excellence] reviewed the clinical proof and price-effectiveness of this treatment and has advisable it must be presented. Thanet CCG gives funding for fertility preservation for males and couples, also recommended by Wonderful on related terms. It can not be right to not fund this treatment method for girls like Lizzy.”
The judge reserved his choice.