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Archive for May 7th, 2019


Ohio Appellate Court Rules Frozen Embryos Are Not “Persons”

Photo of Ohio 8th District Court of Appeals buildingThe Eighth District Court of Appeals of Ohio recently ruled that frozen embryos are “not capable of independent survival” and “not considered to be persons under the law.” [See Penniman v. Univ. Hosps. Health Sys., Inc., 2019-Ohio-1673.]  The case is related to the March 2018 loss of over 4,000 frozen eggs and embryos after the malfunction of a storage tank at the University Hospitals Health Systems (UHHS) Fertility Center.  The plaintiffs-appellants, Wendy and Rick Penniman, lost one or more of their embryos in that storage tank malfunction, and had “sought a declaratory judgment that human life begins at conception and thus their embryos constitute persons under Ohio law in order to pursue a wrongful death claim against UHHS.”  The Court affirmed the judgment of the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas dismissal of the Penniman’s declaratory judgment action.