Disputes over Frozen Embryos: Who Wins, Who Loses, and How Do We Decide - An Analysis of Davis v. Davis, York v. Jones, and State Statutes Affecting Reproductive Choices

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Ahnen, Christi D.
Issue Date
1991
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Journal Article
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INTRODUCTION|In vitro fertilization ("IVF") is a relatively new medical procedure which enables couples who are otherwise infertile to conceive and gestate their own child. IVF is the fertilization of egg by sperm outside of the body in an artificial environment. The IVF procedure involves extraction of eggs from the ovary, fertilization of these eggs in a glass dish with sperm, and transfer of viable embryos to the uterus after a forty-eight to seventy-two hour incubation period. IVF has been controversial since its inception due to the creation of in vitro embryos and concerns about the risks to these embryos incurred in their transfer or their use in medical research.|Some persons object to IVF and embryo cryopreservation because they view the embryo as a human person, and fear that the technologies of IVF and cryopreservation will lead to embryo destruction, harm, research, or other objectionable manipulations. The lingering question has been whether there is a duty to protect in vitro embryos from harm, and if so, if this duty means that in vitro embryos cannot be created because IVF cannot avoid the risk of harm. If such a duty to protect exists, and if IVF is therefore prohibited, many infertile couples will lose the opportunity to conceive and gestate their own child...
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24 Creighton L. Rev. 1299 (1990-1991)
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Creighton University School of Law
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