08/08/2011 06:01 pm ET | Updated Oct 08, 2011

Israeli Woman's Eggs Can Be Harvested And Frozen After Her Death, Court Rules

In what has been hailed as a groundbreaking case for Israel and possibly the world, a 17-year-old woman's family has been granted legal permission to extract and freeze her eggs after her death.

As Ha'aretz is reporting, Chen Aida Ayash, a 17-year-old resident of the Sharon region, died last Wednesday a week in Kfar Sava's Meir Hospital, 10 days after being hit by a car. After deciding to donate her organs, Ayash's family obtained an order from the Kfar Sava Magistrate's Court to allow her eggs to be harvested and frozen.

Family members had originally requested the eggs be fertilized with donated sperm, since frozen embryos have a greater chance of ultimately producing a child than eggs frozen before fertilization. Though the court ultimately decided to only permit harvesting of the eggs, the case has nonetheless been hailed by authorities as revolutionary.

"This is a unique case, since this is the first time an Israeli court has approved the extraction and freezing of ovarian eggs from a dead woman," Maayan Maor, a spokesperson for Kfar Sava's Meir Hospital, tells The Guardian. "We don't know the reason why Chen's parents wanted it done. We just received the court order and did the procedure."

A lawyer for New Family, an Israeli organization that promotes family rights, echoed those sentiments "If [the family] can prove the fact that she wanted children, I see no reason why not to allow this," Irit Rosenblum is quoted by The Guardian as saying.

Still, as The Telegraph points out, the legal and ethical framework for mothering a child after death could turn out to be troublesome, and it has been reported the family may have already had a change of heart and will no longer seek to fertilize the eggs.