Woman Loses Court Challenge Over Frozen Embryos


A California couple’s divorce is creating quite a controversy.

The pair is battling over frozen embryos.

The ex-wife agreed that if they ever got divorced she would have the embryos destroyed but when she changed her mind, her ex-husband sued. A judge sided with him.

"It's almost impossible not to feel for this women in this case", Ohio State Associate Law Professor Efthimios Parasidis said. 

He agrees with the judge, but this medical ethicist says the case also delves into a gray area of the law: Should embryos be treated like property like in a per-nuptial agreement?

"Courts aren't going to say that an embryo is property, but there also not going to say that the embryo is a person because once they say it's a person then an entirely new set of rules comes into the picture," he said.

Dr. Elizabeth Kennard is an infertility specialist at Ohio Reproductive Medicine in Columbus.

She doesn't see this as destroying a life.

But says this case will raise ethical questions for some.

"The view of the fertilized egg or the embryo varies. Some people think it is an unborn child and some people think it's a potential child and some think it doesn't have a soul until several weeks until implantation, but nobody thinks and egg or a sperm is a human being," she said.

She hopes cases like this won't discourage infertile couples from having a family via artificial means.