Kelly Summers


The decision in Kass illustrates a situation where well-founded common law contract principles were applied to a novel reproductive issue in order to respond to rapidly evolving technological progress. However, this legal dilemma presents a variable that warrants special attention. The parties involved in the case at hand struggled for control of a possible human life; Mrs. Kass hoped to preserve the pre-zygotes for future implantation attempts, and Mr. Kass sought to avoid the tribulations associated with compulsory parenthood. This Comment will evaluate the decisions rendered by both the Supreme Court of New York and the New York Court of Appeals. Part II discusses the relevant facts considered by the court in determining the disposition of the Kass's five frozen pre-zygotes. Part III reviews the decision of the Supreme Court of New York, which held that a woman has the ultimate decisional authority with respect to frozen genetic material, because it implicates her constitutional rights to privacy and bodily integrity. Part IV analyzes the plurality opinion delivered by the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York, which reversed the court's initial holding. Part V examines the decision of the New York Court of Appeals that reinforced the ruling of the Appellate Division. Finally, Part VI analyzes the holdings set forth by the New York courts and suggests alternative methods to resolve dispositional disputes in the future.