A couple whose daughter died in a bonfire accident want to have a second daughter – and they want a test tube baby to ensure they don’t have a son.
Louise and Alan Masterton, of Tayside, have asked the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority to allow Mrs Masterton to be implanted only with female embryos in their bid to have a daughter.
Their only daughter Nicole died last year, aged three years old, after a balloon with flammable gas fell onto a bonfire and exploded. After suffering 90 per cent burns, she died two months later.
The couple already have four sons, aged between nine and 15 years, and Mrs Masterton was sterilised after having Nicole.
At present, sex screening for embryos is allowed when the parents could pass on a medical condition if the child is a certain gender.
The couple have said that they could never replace their daughter but were desperate to
have another little girl.
Their application has angered pro-life campaigners, who say that despite the tragic circumstances, such a move would resurrect the issue of designer babies, and would be like opening Pandora’s Box.
Mr Masterton told a Scottish newspaper: “Words cannot describe what it feels like to lose the little girl we had wanted for so long. We don’t think choice of sex should be there for everybody, but we are not everybody. ”What has happened to us is thankfully very, very rare. The technology exists for us to have a baby girl and we want to use it. Is that so wrong?”
13 March 2000