Saturday, March 18, 2023

Are embryos property?

 A Virginia judge has managed to make a repugnant legal argument about a repugnant transaction, since the relevant precedent he identifies has to do with the ownership of slaves.

Virginia judge rules human embryos are ‘chattel’ based on centuries-old slave laws  by Matthew Barakat, Associated Press

"Frozen human embryos can legally be considered property, or “chattel,” a Virginia judge has ruled, basing his decision in part on a 19th century law governing the treatment of slaves.

"The preliminary opinion by Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge Richard Gardiner – delivered in a long-running dispute between a divorced husband and wife – is being criticized by some for wrongly and unnecessarily delving into a time in Virginia history when it was legally permissible to own human beings.

“It’s repulsive and it’s morally repugnant,” said Susan Crockin, a lawyer and scholar at Georgetown University’s Kennedy Institute of Ethics and an expert in reproductive technology law.


"In a separate part of his opinion, Gardiner also said he erred when he initially concluded that human embryos cannot be sold.

“As there is no prohibition on the sale of human embryos, they may be valued and sold, and thus may be considered ‘goods or chattels,’” he wrote."

HT: Kim Krawiec

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