Israel Court Allows Egg Extraction From Deceased Woman in Unprecedented Ruling

Family of Hen Aida Ayish who was fatally injured in a car accident a week-and-a-half ago requests that her eggs be extracted and frozen after donating her organs for transplant.

The Kfar Sava Family Court ruled on Sunday that the family of a recently deceased 17-year-old may extract her eggs after her organs were removed for donation. This is the first time a court has allowed egg extraction from a body in Israel.

Hen Aida Ayish, a resident of the Sharon region, was severely injured in a car accident a week-and-a-half ago. She was brought to Meir Hospital in Kfar Sava where she was hospitalized for a week in serious condition, and last Wednesday doctors declared her brain-dead.

Hen Aida Ayish

Ayish’s family agreed to organ donations, and they were surgically removed on Thursday evening at Meir Hospital. The 17-year-old’s organ’s saved the lives of four patients in need of transplants. Her eggs were extracted and frozen at the hospital.

According to medical personnel the family initially requested that the eggs be fertilized with the sperm of another dead body, which would have increased the chances of future pregnancy, however, the hospital refused to do so without the permission of a judge.

Ayish’s family members have refrained from commenting on why they wished to perform the egg extraction.

The court has thus far only allowed the extraction of the eggs, though their future remains undecided. According to guidelines issued by the attorney general in 2003, the use of sperm from a body is only permissible when used to fertilize the deceased’s widow. Parents who wish to use sperm from a body must receive private permission in court.

The Health Ministry has made clear that “the court’s decision has been received independently without hearing the position of the Health Ministry,” adding that “the Health Ministry has no knowledge of the details of the situation.”

The National Transplant Center said in a statement that “the case has nothing to do with us.”