Recent Case - Supreme Court of New Jersey Holds that Preembryo Disposition Agreements are Not Binding When One Party Later Objects - J.B. V. M.B.
I. Glenn Cohen
Harvard Law School
Harvard Law Review, Vol. 115, p. 701, 2001
This case comment, recently published in the Harvard Law Review, surveys developments in the law of preembryo disposition agreements - agreements between couples who undergo in vitro fertilization (IVF) as to what to do about preembryos frozen for possible future implantation in the event of divorce.
The comment reviews a recent Supreme Court of New Jersey decision finding such agreements unenforceable in the event that one party later objects, and compares it to the decisions in the three other jurisdictions to have faced the question.
The comment examines contract theory and the so-called problem of changed selves before concluding that the immutable rule trumping freedom of contract imposed by the New Jersey Supreme Court should give way to a penalty default rule of preembryo destruction that the parties can contract around.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 8
Keywords: Law, Bioethics, property, IVF, embryo, contract theory, penalty defaults, health, medicine, reproductive rights
JEL Classification: I10, I8, K10, K11, K12, K32
Date posted: December 20, 2003 ; Last revised: April 7, 2010