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.

8 Pages Posted: 20 Dec 2003 Last revised: 7 Apr 2010

I. Glenn Cohen

Harvard Law School

Abstract

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.

Keywords: Law, Bioethics, property, IVF, embryo, contract theory, penalty defaults, health, medicine, reproductive rights

JEL Classification: I10, I8, K10, K11, K12, K32

Suggested Citation

Cohen, I. Glenn, 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.. Harvard Law Review, Vol. 115, p. 701, 2001. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=477922 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.477922

I. Glenn Cohen (Contact Author)

Harvard Law School ( email )

1525 Massachusetts Avenue
Griswold Hall 503
Cambridge, 02138
United States

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