Cryogenic storage failure, Embryo Storage Failure

Are IVF embryos persons? A mum and dad who lost theirs say they are

Source BioEdge

On March 3 a liquid nitrogen storage tank at the University Hospitals Fertility Center in Cleveland failed. More than 950 patients lost over 4,000 frozen eggs and embryos. The hospital attributed the tragic incident to “human error”.

More than 70 aggrieved patients have brought over 40 lawsuits against University Hospitals of Cleveland, although most of these claims have been consolidated into a single case. But one couple, Wendy and Rick Penniman, has attempted to sue on the basis of “wrongful death”. Their lawsuit seeks to establish that embryos should be treated as legal persons and that the life of a person begins at conception.

The “chain of profound implications for other families” dismays three bioethicists and lawyers writing in Annals of Internal Medicine, Eli Adashi, of Brown University; I. Glenn Cohen, of Harvard; and Dov Fox, of the University of San Diego. They believe that a ruling in favour of the plaintiffs could lead to limits on abortion, stem cell research and in vitro fertilization (IVF).

“It would be a sad irony if a legal claim aimed at protecting the rights of those who lost their ability to reproduce had the effect of limiting the reproductive rights of countless others,” the authors write.

A ruling that embryos are persons could be used as grounds to limit abortion rights, the authors point out, as well as to potentially restrict research on embryonic stem cells. There could be implications for the future of IVF as well.

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Embryos Destroyed

Frozen embryos ‘mistakenly’ destroyed at University of Washington Medical Center

Source Kiro7
Only KIRO 7 has learned that dozens of women hoping to have children are dealing with heartbreaking loss after their frozen embryos were mistakenly destroyed at the University of Washington Medical Center.

Tina Mankowski, director of strategic communications for UW Medicine, confirmed to KIRO 7 that 31 patients were affected and that the destruction happened in 2014.

However, the mistake was not known publicly until one of the couples recently filed a complaint for damages in King County Superior Court.

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