Resolving Disputes Over Frozen Embryos: A New Proposal



This paper proposes a principle for adjudicating conflicts between estranged couples over whether the frozen embryos they earlier created together ought to be gestated or destroyed. I argue that the fate of the embryos ought to be determined by the party who would be most harmed by having his or her preferences overruled. But I also claim that, when embryos are destroyed against the opposition of one of their co-creators, the individual at whose behest this was done owes compensation to his disappointed opposite number, in an amount that reflects the harm accruing to the latter as a result of the termination of the procreative project.