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Frozen Embryos Who has legal rights

Issue Analysis #1 Frozen Embryos, Who has legal rights? Nursing 498F February 16, 2000 Invitro is defined as, “In glass, as in a test tube”(Taber’s cyclopedic dictionary,1993), hence with reference to invitro fertilization, the term “Test tube baby”. The first ‘test tube baby’ was Louise Brown of England (Jonsen, A. R., 1996). Dr. Patrick Steptoe and Professor Robert Edwards combined an ovum from Mrs. Brown, and sperm from Mr. Brown cultured it in a petri dish, and reimplanted the now embryo into Mrs. Brown’s uterus (Jonsen, A. R.,1996). The result was the same as a child born in the usual way, only the means to the end was different. The media had a field day with this, and since then, reproduction as we know it has changed. We now use the term “assisted reproduction” to describe a host of methods used to assist infertile couples to have children. A menagerie of large terms, abbreviations, and acronyms are used under the umbrella of this term, such as GIFT, IVF, FSH, AID, etc. The bottom line is that technology has allowed man to take yet another matter into his own hands, that may be considered “playing God”. As with any new procedure or product, there are always “bugs to work out”. Sometimes we can anticipate what these will be, but many times we “cross that bridge when we come to it”. Such seems to be the case with assisted reproduction. Considering the complicated custody battles already occurring with regard to our “naturally made children”, we have seen, and can anticipate more tangled legal webs ahead. Not much has been done to anticipate the complexities involved with assisted reproduction. In 1975, a federal law was enacted that created an Ethics Advisory Board (EAB)(Caplan, A. L., 1990). In 1979, this organization issued a report merely stating that invitro ferti...

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