This Article addresses the conflicts that arise due to the increased number of cryogenically frozen embryos produced during in vitro fertilization (IVF). Part I discusses the IVF process, in general. While it recognizes the man's role in the process, it focuses primarily on the physical and emotional hardships that are placed on the woman. Part I also gives the backdrop of the case law in the area of embryo distribution. Part II introduces the idea that an embryo should be reduced to private property, through utilization of the labor and economic theories of property law. Additionally, an embryo's use, rather than its waste, promotes a more efficient society. The role that the legislature should play in the appropriation of embryonic property is also addressed. The dominion of property law suggests that the enforcement of contracts is eminent to communal survival. Part II discusses the current regulations in place as well as the lack of direction given by these regulations when a dispute arises as to the distribution of embryos. Part IV discusses how contracts with IVF clinics meet the standard elements of enforceability in contract law. This article also addresses the current criticisms and possible defenses against such enforcement. Part V synthesizes the findings of the previous articles written on this topic.
Note, Resolving Disputes over Excess Frozen Embryos through the Confines of Property and Contract Law, 17 J.L. & Health 103 (2002-2003)