Conceptualizing Frozen Embryos: The Legal and Scientific Debate Over the Status of Human Embryos as they are Used in Reproductive Technologies
This work represents the culmination of two semesters of research into the use of science in the legal system. My research specifically focuses on the invocation and application of the term “life” in expert testimony and judicial decisions. The cases I chose to study involve cryogenically frozen embryos as they are divided and conceptualized throughout divorce proceedings in the United States legal system. Within these cases, there is a rich legal debate surrounding whether the embryos in question ought to be considered person or property. The importance of this debate becomes apparent in light of current abortion law and the rapidly developing field of reproductive technologies. I include personal interviews with a number of the key players associated with these cases to get first-hand accounts of the importance of these cases and how they have affected our country’s legal system. In all, this thesis is meant to examine the current state of the ethical, legal and moral debate surrounding human embryos and their place within the current legal system through nine of the most important divorce proceedings that addressed cryopreserved human embryos.
Franklin and Marshall College Archives, Undergraduate Honors Thesis 2008
- F&M Theses Collection