The wedding was really lovely. A civil ceremony held in a grand but rather shabby chic country house outside of Winchester. Most of the words used in the marriage ceremony were written by the bride and groom and had the ring of well matched minds, as well as some welcome humour. The food was veggie, the speeches long but very witty and amusing – not a dirty story in sight – and the centrepieces on each of the tables at dinner and the wedding cake were science experiments – the groom is a physics teacher. All in all a wonderful mix of the traditional and unconventional.
A three week old baby there with proud new parents gave me some good practice in new born adoration. Our grand-daughter should be here in about three weeks. Can’t wait.
On another topic completely, it has recently come to the notice of DCN that anyone who has received donated eggs or embryos since the 1980s is no longer allowed to donate blood in the UK. This was discovered when the co-ordinator of one of our parent groups went to give blood and was asked if she had had fertility treatment in the past 20 years. Now as it happens she received donor sperm rather than eggs and so was allowed to continue with her blood donation. However, this ban picqued her curiosity and she asked what it was all about. She was eventually sent a long and rather complicated explanation which seems to boil down to anxiety about the possible transmission of vCJD, popularly known as mad cow disease. It seems that UK authorities believe that this is not transmitted via sperm as it would have shown up in the incidence pattern. However, it does appear that US authorities and many other places in the world do not allow men who were resident in the UK at any time between 1983 and 1996 to donate sperm or indeed organs. With regard to donated eggs and embryos, there has apparently been one case in the USA where prion, the faulty protein involved in vCJD, was found in the uterus and ovaries of a woman who died of vCJD. On the basis of that, recipients of donor eggs and embryos since the 1980s when BSE/vCJD were first identified will no longer be allowed to donate blood in the UK.
Our member has written to the HFEA for their views on this matter and I’ll keep you posted about anything we hear from them.