April 23, 2024

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Alabama Court Rules Frozen Embryos as Persons, Holding Individuals Accountable for Their Death

Alabama Court Rules Frozen Embryos as Persons, Holding Individuals Accountable for Their Death



Alabama Court Rules Frozen Embryos as Persons, Holding Individuals Accountable for Their Death

An Alabama court ruling states that frozen embryos are considered human beings, and those responsible for their death can be held accountable.

In 2022, three couples in Alabama filed a lawsuit under the state’s “Wrongful Death of a Minor” law, claiming that a patient wandering in a hospital entered a storage room, removed a container with embryos, and threw it on the floor, causing the embryos to die.

Last Friday, February 16th, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled 8-1 that frozen embryos are considered persons, declaring that “unborn children are ‘children,’ and the same applies to frozen embryos, which should be given the same protection under the ‘Wrongful Death of a Minor’ law.” Therefore, those responsible for the death of frozen embryos can be held accountable under the law for “wrongful death.”

The dissenting judge argued that applying the “Wrongful Death of a Minor” law to frozen embryos could have disastrous consequences for Alabama’s assisted reproduction industry and the development of in vitro fertilization technology. Organizations like the American Society for Reproductive Medicine expressed concerns, stating that this ruling could be detrimental to families hoping to conceive through IVF.

This decision overturns the lower court’s definition of embryos as non-children. It is the first time a state’s highest court in the United States has explicitly declared that frozen embryos are human beings with the same legal status as “children.”

According to judicial statistics related to pregnancy, Alabama accounts for half of all criminal cases related to pregnancy in the United States. The ruling by the state’s highest court could have an impact on the entire reproductive assistance industry in the United States, including the IVF industry and even contraceptive drugs. Dana Susman, Deputy Executive Director of the American Pregnancy Justice Organization, stated that in the future, parents and clinics in the United States performing IVF will find it difficult to handle “remaining embryos.”

Under the “Wrongful Death of a Minor” law, when a minor dies due to someone else’s improper actions, inaction, or negligence, the deceased’s parents can file a lawsuit for wrongful death and seek compensation.

Alabama Court Rules Frozen Embryos as Persons, Holding Individuals Accountable for Their Death

Alabama Court Rules Frozen Embryos as Persons, Holding Individuals Accountable for Their Death

(source:internet, reference only)


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