In an infamous court case, widow Diane Blood applied for the right to use sperm stored by her dead husband Stephen just before he embarked on cancer treatment.
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority ruled that he had not given written consent for this, even though Mrs Blood insisted he had told her that she could go ahead.
The Court of Appeal ruled that she could go abroad for treatment with the sperm – and she has since had two children.
The issue of consent is a thorny one – two women went to court in 2003 to try to use embryos created during IVF treatment with their now ex-partners.
Both men oppose the use of the embryos.