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Embryo Custody Battle Underway In San Francisco Courtroom.

July 23, 2015

Embryo Custody Battle Underway In San Francisco Courtroom.

Legal battles over gametes and embryos has been a longstanding issue in reproductive medicine.  This particular case may make us rethink what we do with frozen tissue.  As specialists in this area, we are caught in a quagmire due to these uncertainties.  Even with written directives such as this case, one never knows how the courts might treat the situation.  There are hundreds of thousands of embryos, sperm and now eggs around the US in freezers with either no directive, or directives such as these and the “owners” of the tissue do not respond to inquiry, nor do they pay for their storage.  “Orphaned embryos” as they are dubbed by the industry are costing the overall reproductive system a great deal of money.  This has become a national problem.  Some patients seek to adopt embryos but without the ability to have contact and consent from the originating couples, our hands are tied.  We would love for the courts to figure that question out?
Michael D. Fox, MD
Jacksonville Center
Reproductive Medicine 

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