Alabama’s Supreme Court decision on frozen embryos halts IVF treatment at one facility

Alabama’s Supreme Court decision on frozen embryos halts IVF treatment at one facility

One of the state’s health systems, the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), has announced that it is suspending in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment after the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that frozen embryos are children and can be subject to wrongful death lawsuits. UAB is the first known organization in the state to confirm that it is pausing the treatment, which could affect many couples who are seeking to have a baby through IVF.
Alabama’s Supreme Court decision on frozen embryos halts IVF treatment at one facility

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The court’s ruling, which was released on Friday, is the first of its kind in the US and could have far-reaching implications for the fertility industry in Alabama and beyond. It could increase the liability and cost of infertility treatments, discourage medical providers from offering them, and force parents to pay for indefinite storage of embryos they may not want or need.

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UAB said in a statement to CNN that it is saddened by the impact of the court’s decision on its patients and that it must evaluate the potential legal risks of continuing IVF treatment. “We are saddened that this will impact our patients’ attempt to have a baby through IVF, but we must evaluate the potential that our patients and our physicians could be prosecuted criminally or face punitive damages for following the standard of care for IVF treatments,” the statement said.
Alabama’s Supreme Court decision on frozen embryos halts IVF treatment at one facility
The Alabama Medical Association also issued a statement on Wednesday, warning that other health systems will likely follow UAB’s example and that the court’s ruling will likely lead to fewer babies in the state. “IVF is oftentimes the only option for couples wanting to conceive,” the association said.
The court’s ruling came in a case involving a divorced couple who had frozen embryos as part of their IVF treatment. The husband wanted to donate the embryos to another couple, while the wife wanted to keep them. The court sided with the wife and said that the embryos are children with rights and interests that must be protected. The court also said that anyone who destroys or abandons an embryo can be sued for wrongful death.

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Source : CNN

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